The recently released Manoj Bajpai Bollywood movie “Aiyaary” is supposedly based on the infamous “Adarsh Scam” involving personnel closely linked to India’s Ministry of Defence. Now, the pertinent question to be asked is, “What exactly is this scandal all about? So, the only logical way to answer this question in terms of a broad perspective is to present a few critical facts pertaining this case. They are as follows.

Ashok Chavan

Ex-chief minister of Maharashtra Ashok Chavan, an accused in the Adarsh Scam


1. What exactly is the Adarsh Scam all about?


The “Adarsh scam” is essentially a scandal revolving around an housing society constructed in the city of Mumbai for war widows and a few military personnel which was over the years illegally allocated to politicians, bureaucrats, and undeserving officers from the Indian army. Furthermore, this scam involved the blatant twisting of rules pertaining land ownership, zoning, floor space index, and membership. It also involved the accused purchasing flats in this cooperative housing society at rates that are far lower than compared to the market price.

2. When and how did the Adarsh Scam first appear on the public domain?

The Adarsh scam is said to have first taken root way back in the year 2003 (according to a newspaper report) however, there was no official response to it. It was eventually in 2010 (seven years later) that the media began questioning the manner in which the flats in the cooperative housing society for the Kargil war widows were being sold to bureaucrats, politician etc, that too at a price much lower than the actual market value. It was this pressure applied by the media that compelled the army as well as the CBI to launch separate investigations. Furthermore, the CAG also got involved, and formed its own report.

3. What were the basic findings of the Adarsh Scam CAG Report?

It was in year 2011, that the CAG under the stewardship of then Comptroller General Vinod Rai submitted a report based on a probe undertaken with regards to the Adarsh scam. According this report made by Rai, this scandal was a perfect example of the abject failure of the State and Central governments to follow rules that they as guardians were supposed to implement and protect. Furthermore, it was also stated in the report that this scam “is a classic example of the fence eating the crops; of those holding juduciary responsibility betraying the same for personal aggrandisement. It reflects a consistent failure across all departments, State and Central government and a cross-section of the officialdom. It is an example of how a group of select and powerful elite could collude to subvert rules and regulations for personal benefit”. In addition, the fact that a majority of the 102 members who were awarded with flats in the society actually belonged to families of bureaucrats and powerful politicians and not army personnel was also revealed in this report. It also found that using phrases such as “members who are from the Armed forces and serving the motherland,” and “reward for heroes of Kargil operations who bravely fought at Kargil and protected our motherland” letters demanding extra FSI were exchanged by the society and the State and Central governments respectively.

4. Who were the  powerful individuals implicated in the Adarsh Scam?

An interesting mixture of bureaucrats, politicians, and few undeserving army personnel were implicated in the Adarsh scam. However, the first “big fish” to be accused in this scam was the then Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and his family. In addition, two retired major generals named Tej Kaul and AR Kumar were also arrested for their involvement in this scam. Other bigwigs convicted included retired brigadier MM Wanchoo, a former General Officer Commanding(GOC) of Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Goa, Adarsh Society promoter Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, and Pradeep Vyas,  also the then city collector and finance secretary (expenditure) of the Maharashtra Government.

5. The “Judicial Inquiry” of the Adarsh Scam

It was on the 9th January 2011, that the Government of Maharashtra set up a judicial commission comprising of two members in accordance with the “Commission Inquiry Act, 1952” to investigate Adarsh Scam. Furthermore, this commission included a retired Bombay High Court judge named JA Patil and  P Subramanium, the former State Chief Secretary. This two member committee formed then undertook a thorough investigation pertaining issues such as land ownership, allotment , and permissions provided to the Adarsh Society.  It was on 27th June 2012, that former Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh claimed before this committee that the allocation  of the flats was green lit by the then state revenue minister Ashok Chavan.

6. The “Aftermath” of the Adarsh Scam Inquiry:

April 2013 was when the final report report by the two man Adarsh Society judicial inquiry committee was submitted. According to this report, powerful Congress politicians (3 ex-chief ministers) which included Ashok Chavan, Vilasrao Deshmukh, and Sushilkumar Shinde were found to have been key players in this scam. In addition, 12 bureaucrats and two former state Urban Development ministers  Rajesh Tope and Sunil Tatkare were also found guilty. Furthermore, the report also claimed that about 22 “Benami” transactions occurred between the accused. Unfortunately though, this inquiry eventually turned out to be a damp squib with the powerful Congress politicians being given the clean chit. However, the beneficiaries of these flats were very conveniently found guilty by the members of the inquiry for specifically violating  the “Benami Transactions Prohibition Act”.

And so, what the emergence of the “Adarsh Scam” unfortunately proves is that, it is the presence of “greed” within the Indian mindset which leads to rampant corruption, and will continue to do so unless the “I, me, and myself” psyche is completely eradicated by the people.

Image Credits: Wikipedia  and Wikimedia Commons 

 CheriethNational PoliticsPoliticsAdarsh Scam,Aiyaary,AR Kumar,Ashok Chavan,Benami Transactions Prohibition Act,Kanhaiyalal Gidwani,Manoj Bajpai,MM Wanchoo,Pradeep Vyas,Sushilkumar Shinde,Tej Kaul,Vilasrao Deshmukh
The recently released Manoj Bajpai Bollywood movie 'Aiyaary' is supposedly based on the infamous 'Adarsh Scam' involving personnel closely linked to India's Ministry of Defence. Now, the pertinent question to be asked is, 'What exactly is this scandal all about? So, the only logical way to answer this question...