Adarsh Scam: Former MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner’s letter disclosed under RTI
On 25-06-2010, the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command, wrote to Maharashtra’s Chief Secretary, Municipal Commissioner of Greater Mumbai and Principal Secretary of Urban Development Department. He said, “It is of the utmost urgency from the point of view of security… that necessary directives under Section 154 of the MRTP Act 1966 be immediately issued by the Government of Maharashtra to the Planning Authority not to grant any Occupation Certificate, partial or otherwise whatsoever, to the said building/society, which is in the vicinity of the WNC Defence installations /Colaba Defence Station till the desired information is provided by them, and vetted by this Headquarters. You are requested to kindly take action on the aforesaid, failing which HQ WNC would be constrained to take legal recourse to legal proceedings.”
In his reply letter dated 29 September, the former MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner Ratnakar Gaikwad said:
Please refer to your above cited letters. In this regard, secretary of the society has written a letter to MMRDA in which it is stated that ‘It is reliably learnt that Naval Authorities have also written to your office regarding the antecedents of members of our Society. In this context, I would like to bring it on record for your kind information that the society consists of members from Army, Navy, Government of India Officers from IAS, IPS, IFS, IRS and other Government Officers. Our members are including Ex Chief of Naval Staff, Ex Flag Officer Commanding in Chief, two formal Chief of Army Staff and other senior officers from Army, Navy, Defence Estates etc. The Society also have Hon’ble Members of Parliament, State Assembly besides senior people who held position of Union / State Cabinet Ministers and Speaker of Maharashtra Assembly. It is also brought on the record that the land in question is State Government land allotted to the Society by the State Government and Membership have been approved by the Government of Maharashtra/Collector Mumbai according to the Government Resolution in force and antecedents of all the members have been verified and approved by the government prior to allotment of membership. In the light of above, any further verification of antecedents of members by the navy appears to be overstepping the right of propriety vested in the Government of Maharashtra and Collector Mumbai City, who have verified and approved the names.’
“In view of the above, it is felt that after completion of the building, basic issues may not be raised. If there is any reasonable apprehensive (sic) about the members of the society from the security point of view, you may refer the matter to the appropriate authority such as Commissioner of Police, Mumbai. MMRDA has issued the Occupancy Certificate to the Adarsh Society on 16/9/2010.
Thus, the former MMRDA Metropolitan Commissioner vide his above letter dated 29 September, had claimed that based on a letter written by the secretary of Adarsh Society, the OC had been issued on 16 September i.e. 13 days earlier. This letter suggests that if the Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief, Western Naval Command had any security concerns about the members of the society, he should approach the Police Commissioner.