Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which hopes to wind up its investigations in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (ACHS) scam by May, has made it clear that the names that figure in the FIR are only of those individuals whose relatives had flats in the society and who had a role in perpetrating the scam.

Officials responding to the allegations (by certain political groups) that former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan is being unfairly targetted by the CBI, say the reason Chavan's name figures in the FIR is because flats were allotted to Chavan's relatives including his brother-in-law, sister-in-law and mother-in-law.

"Only people who have a role in the scam in any way and/or whose relatives own flats in the controversial building figure in the FIR. There could be officials or politicians who may have done people a few favours by allotting permissions or relaxing procedures while sanctioning flats, but they will not become directly culpable unless they or their relatives are direct beneficiaries of the society," explained an official. He added, "For example, former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh may have been part of some procedural irregularities, but he is not a direct beneficiary."

Meanwhile, although the CBI is hoping to complete its investigation by May, the entire process could be delayed if the state does not co-operate. The CBI had sought logistical support from the state government for the conduct of the investigations.

On January 29, the CBI had registered a case against 13 persons, including former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, retired army officials, bureaucrats and state officials on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of their official powers.

Following the registration of the FIR, the CBI sought help for special, secure storage for papers related to the case and also for the conduct of investigation, including interrogating the accused.

The CBI had also sought from the state government, two vehicles, some stenographers, subordinate staff including writers and computers for facilitating smoother investigation. However, the state is yet to meet their demands and has promised help soon.

The background

The ACHS scam came to light when several illegal allotments of flats in the 31-storey Colaba building, built on prime defence land and meant to house Kargil war heroes, came to light. Top politicians, bureaucrats, defence estate and military officers are under the CBI scanner, including three former Service chiefs, for getting preferential allotment in the illegal building at relatively dirt cheap prices.

Courtesy: Mid-day.com