Adarsh scam: Devyani Khobragade ineligible for flat, says panel
According to Maharashtra government rules, an official applying for a flat under a government quota has to give a signed affidavit stating that they do not own any other flat.
Mumbai: Devyani Khobragade, the Indian diplomat who is at the centre of a diplomatic row with the US, is one of the 25 allottees who have been found ineligible to own a flat in the controversial Adarsh Housing society by a judicial panel which probed the scam.
According to Maharashtra government rules, an official applying for a flat under a government quota has to give a signed affidavit stating that they do not own any other flat. Devyani had an apartment in Oshiwara locality in the city which too she had got under the government quota.
Her father Uttam Khobragade, a retired IAS officer, was alleged to have facilitated extra floor space index (FSI) to the upscale 31-storey Adarsh society in Colaba by transferring an adjoining Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) plot to the society.
Uttam Khobragade has, however, denied any wrongdoing in the scam.
"We purchased the flat under the reserved quota after paying the correct price. Why should we return the flat," he asked.
Apart from the flat in Adarsh society, Devyani has 10 more immovable properties, according to her property returns for year ending 31 December, 2012, available on the Ministry of External Affairs website.
The collective present value of seven of these properties has been shown at little over Rs 78 lakh, while that of the flat in Adarsh building is Rs 90 lakh. The value of three properties has not been mentioned in the return.
The purchase of the flat in Adarsh society, according to the return, was made from proceeds from the sale of her flat in Meera Cooperative Housing Society at Oshiwara.
Seven of the properties including land have been shown as inherited from her father of given by him as gift.
Her annual income from five of the 11 properties has been shown at Rs 1.26 lakh. While eight of these properties are in Maharashtra, two others are in Ernakulam district of Kerala and one in Gautam Buddha Nagar in Uttar Pradesh.
The Maharashtra government has rejected the conclusions of the report.
The row between India and the US erupted after Khobragade, the Indian Consul General in New York, was arrested in the US for alleged visa fraud and subjected to ill-treatment.
: Pointing out to the infighting between the senior congress leaders, the controversial Adarsh society in South Mumbai has on Saturday alleged that the society was targeted because of the rivalry between the former union home minister Sushilkumar Shinde and former union defence minister AK Anthony.
So, even as it's clear that there are two sides to every coin, how about looking at Devyani Khobragade and the infamous Adarsh scam that rocked India a few years ago?
A PIL in the Bombay High Court, which seeks to prosecute former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in Adarsh housing society scam, today alleged that four "heavyweights" had not been arraigned by the CBI as accused although they had allegedly acquired flats by "fraudulent" means.