As the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) made seven arrests in the last two days in connection with the Adarsh Housing Scam, the Maharashtra government Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that it has suspended two serving IAS officers for their alleged involvement in the scam.
The officers, Pradeep Vyas and Jairaj Pathak, have been named in the first information report (FIR) filed by the CBI on Jan 29.
While Vyas was the collector of Mumbai, Pathak was the municipal commissioner when the scam took place. Vyas was arrested Wednesday by the CBI.
The state government, in its status report submitted to the Bombay High Court Thursday, said that the two officers will be under suspension till completion of the investigations in the scam.
The Maharashtra government also told the court that a high level meeting of the Enforcement Directorate (ED), Income Tax authorities and the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) has taken place regarding the Adarsh probe.
According to the CBI, Vyas during his tenure as collector from August 2002 to May 2005, allegedly accepted false documents as proof of income and granted membership of Adarsh Society to those who were not eligible. His wife Seema Vyas, also an IAS officer, has a flat in the building.
The CBI has alleged in its FIR filed on Jan 29 that Jairaj Phatak, during his tenure as BMC commissioner, had approved the height of the building to be increased from 97 metres to 107 metres on September 1, 2007.
Apart from Vyas, the CBI had arrested three others - former MLC K.L. Gidwani, Maj. Gen. (retd) A.R. Kumar and Maj. Gen. (retd) T.K. Kaul - on Wednesday.
Three others - retired defence estates officer R.C. Thakur, Brigadier (retd) M.M. Wanchoo and former deputy secretary of state urban development department P.V. Deshmukh were arrested Tuesday by the CBI in connection with the scam.
CBI’s action came after a division bench of the Bombay High Court comprising justices P.B. Majmudar and R.D. Dhanuka had questioned CBI for delaying the arrests in the case.
The Bombay High court had, on March 12, rapped CBI for not initiating action against government officials involved in the scam.
The division bench had, on Feb 28, had also castigated the Enforcement Directorate for “serious lapse” in failing to initiate investigations against some Adarsh society members allegedly involved in money-laundering.