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Will Table Adarsh Report in Assembly: Maharashtra Govt to HC

The Maharashtra government today informed the Bombay High Court that it would table the Adarsh inquiry commission report during the ongoing winter Assembly session.

Assistant government pleader G W Mattos told a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak that the report would be tabled during the Assembly session in Nagpur.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by Maharashtra BJP unit seeking a direction to the government to table the report before the Legislature.

The government had yesterday sought dismissal of the petition on the ground that under section 3(4) of the Commission of Inquiry Act, it is not mandatory on the state government to table the report.

The court had, however, refused to accept the argument and said it would consider the issue of whether or not it was mandatory later, but the government should first at least indicate if it was going to table the report in the winter session.

Following the government's statement today that the report would be tabled, the High Court disposed of the BJP's petition.

Appearing for the petitioner, senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani argued that the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) had yesterday submitted its report and hence, even the state government should table its report.

The petition, filed by BJP MLA Yogesh Sagar and party spokesperson Atul Shah, alleged a conspiracy behind the government's reluctance to make public the report and that it was trying to bury the matter.

Jethmalani argued that by not tabling the report, the government was hoodwinking the public at large.

"The government has spent over Rs 7 crore on the commission. It was set up as an eyewash and now by not tabling the report they are fooling people," he argued.

The state government had in January 2011 set up the commission headed by a retired judge to inquire into allegations that the land where the Adarsh building stands belongs to the Ministry of Defence, that it was reserved for war widows and veterans, and bureaucrats and ruling politicians flouted norms while granting permissions and in return they were alloted flats.

The commission, in its interim report, said that the land belonged to the state, and was not reserved for anybody. Later, in April this year, it submitted its final report.

The commission had recorded the statements of several defence officials, bureaucrats and former Maharashtra Chief Ministers Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Union Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde.

Emerging story. Watch this space for updates as more details come in
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