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Monday, November 29, 2010

SIC Ramanand Tiwari involved in Adarsh-type scams in Mumbai & Pune

Maharashtra’s State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari played a crucial role in two more land scams in Mumbai & Pune involving high ranking bureaucrats, politicians and their aides. One may term them as Adarsh-II and Adarsh-III. Also read about another scam in Wadala, which we may call Adarsh-IV, where Mr Tiwari’s hand, if present, is not clear.


Ashok Chavan’s aides usurped plot in Bandra meant for displaced families to build a private housing society; but disturbingly, main promoter D P Sawant, a Congress MLA, was sworn in as a Minister of State in Prithviraj Chavan’s government.

Other housing societies are tumbling out of Ashok Chavan’s closet. It has emerged that a piece of land in Bandra (East), meant for displaced residents, was usurped six months ago by bureaucrats and politicians close to the former Chief Minister. The four-acre plot, taken from the government for a small fraction of its market value, now houses Renuka Co-operative Housing Society, where the residents include several senior IAS officers, two of Chavan’s former secretaries, his brother-in-law Gulabrao Bhoyas, and State Information Commissioner Ramanand Tiwari.

Original news item:

The society consists of 2 BHK and 3 BHK flats, valued between Rs 2 and Rs 5 crore by local real-estate agents. They were, however, sold to Renuka’s privileged residents for Rs 20 to Rs 30 lakh. The move to take over this plot first began in 2004, but the owners started moving in only in May 2010. The entire project came up without any formal application before the BMC’s Improvement Committee to change the status of the plot from ‘dis-housed’ to ‘residential’.

This, at a time when the corporation desperately needs 25,000 houses to accommodate families affected due to projects such as BRIMSTOWAD (storm-water draining), road widening, nullah widening, and rehabilitation of slum-dwellers living near water pipelines. Construction began in 2004 on the plot measuring 1,389 sq metre. Violating Section 33 (1 & 2), a file was sent to the BMC seeking permission, but not forwarded to the Improvement Committee for approval. Despite no formal sanction from the corporation, and therefore no paper trail, the building was completed last year, and interior work was finished this summer.

“The state government has the right not to take a decision on changing the status of a plot on its own. At that time, Urban Development principal secretary Ramanand Tiwari played vital role in helping develop the society. The BMC got no wind of it,” said a senior civic official. Tiwari himself allegedly owns a flat in the building, but when contacted by Mumbai Mirror, denied that he had anything to do with the society. “If they say I own a house there, I will sue the society,” he said. BJP MLC Vinod Tawde, however, insisted that the former bureaucrat was one of the society’s members. “I have procured documents from the Registrar’s office, and Mr Tiwari’s name is very much there,” he claimed.

Other members of Renuka society include Nitin Kareer, Ashok Chavan’s chief secretary; Satish Sawant, personal assistant to the ex-CM; Shailesh Patil, son of former Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil; Vipin Gupchup, PA of Sushil Kumar Shinde; Ajay Bhushan Pande, the serving energy secretary; and Ramakant Asamar, a joint secretary in the State Revenue department.

Asamar confirmed he had a 3 BHK flat in Renuka. “But we’ve relocated a portion of the plot for dishoused people at another location. We’ve not done anything wrong,” he contended.

When contacted, retired IPS officer and social activist, Y P Singh, alleged that members of the Renuka society had not only illegally changed the reservation status of the plot but also shifted the direction of a nullah that passes nearby. “As per Section 22 of Maharashta Regional Town-Planning Act, reservations are created as per the requirement of the city and its development needs. An individual need of a private society cannot supersede the development of the city,” Singh said.

Rahul Shewale, chairman of the BMC’s standing committee, said they would immediately look into matter, and prepare a report seeking to reclaim the plot. “Without consulting us, houses meant for displaced people have been given to top politicians and bureaucrats at a throwaway price. All people involved should be booked and action should be taken against them,” he said.


29 senior IAS officials and junior bureaucrats grabbed government land consisting of five acres and formed the Gayatri Cooperative Housing Society. The vacant land belonged to the former Food Craft Institute (FCI), now Maharashtra State Institute Hotel Management and Catering (MSIHMAC), which is a state government institution. The land was allotted to the institution to construct a ladies hostel and sports complex. As the state government was reeling under financial crisis in 2004, funds for the building were withheld.

Original news item:

The bureaucrats took advantage of a legal loophole that government land must be utilized within two years or the government would reclaim it back. They then came together with bureaucrats from the secretariat and, without the knowledge of the institution, took control of the land by dubious means. Though the bureaucrats managed to get an order in favor of the Gayatri Society floated by them, it was quashed by the then Divisional Commissioner P. D. Karandikar.

Now Karandikar, who had ordered the land grabbed by bureaucrats to be returned to the institution, says, “I have unconfirmed information that the Government in Department of Higher & Technical Education (DTE) have informed the Revenue Department that the land in question is not likely to be utilized by them for expansion of the Hotel Management Institute (for want of budgetary provision). This would pave the way for floating another Co-op Housing Society on the same plot. Official information on this can be obtained by Research and Technical Institute application.”


Ramanand Tiwari's wife Sheela Tiwari, also an IAS officer, acquired a stake in this housing society, when Ramanand was secretary of Urban Development in 2004. List of society members acquired under RTI from Deputy Registrar of Cooperative Society in Pune:

1. Satish Tripati - Mumbai

2. Rakesh Chandra Joshi, Mumbai

3- Subash Lalla (Chairman State Human Rights Commission), Mumbai

4. Sanjay Ubale, former Secretary GAD, Mumbai

5. Mahesh Pathak, Mumbai

6. Smt. Sheela Ramanand Tiwari, Mumbai (W/O Ramanand Tiwari)

7. Jawale HK, Mumbi

8. Vikas Deshmukh, Mumbai

9. Sanjay Radkar, Mumbai

10. Rajiv Nivatkar, Mumbai

11. Avinash Dhakne, Mumbai

12. S.G.Deshmukh, Pune

13. Anil Diggikar, former Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Commissioner, Pune

14. V. Radha, Secretary, Women and Child Development, Mumbai

15. Umakant Dangat, former Additional Collector, Pune

16. D.G. Rajurkar, former Deputy Municipal Commissioner, PMC, Pune,

17, Swati-Mhase-Patil, Pune

18. Suhas Diwase, former Resident Deputy Collector, Pune

19. Sharad Jadhav, Pune

20. Kavita Diwvedi, Pune,

21. Suraj Mandhare, Miraj, Sangli

22. Kishore More, Chief Promoter, former deputy collector and Private Secretary to

Minister of Tourism, Mumbai

23. Ajiyanka Padwal, former Additonal Collector, Pune,

24. Sampath Davkar, former deputy collector, Pune and OSD to Minister Patangrao Kadam

25. Smt. Deepali Khade, Pune

26. Vipin Gupchup, Pune

27. D.P. Metke

28. Ashok Mulchandani, Pimpri, Pune

29. Jungle Wagh

Names of former PMC Commissoner Nitin Kareer and Government Pleader Amar Mulchandani also figure in the government list. (Nitin Kareer is said to be instrumental in allotting government land in the Sasson General Hospital to controversial NGO Sofosh.)

In spite of the then Divisional Commissioner Bapu Karandikar directing the collector to return the government land back to the owners MSIHMAC, the IAS officers have not yet given up their claim and are creating obstruction in the handing over the land. All the 29 members had paid their share capital of Rs. 250.

Shahid Burney, who lives in Pune (094220 12831, ), has a dossier of documents about Gayatri society, and also Indus Society which is mentioned below.


To purchase flats at exceptional concession rates, bureaucrats in the state secretariat bargained to clear files, adding their own people to the original list with the Finance Department. Indus was promoted by some IAS officers who were later joined by IPS officers, senior government servants and legislators from the Legislative Assembly and Legislative Council. This resulted in the members’ list rising to 135 plus. The promoters applied for land at Wadala with the government giving its willingness to allot 13,000 square meters of land.

After the government agreed to the allotment of the land, it dawned on the promoters that the land was near the sea shore and was thus covered under the provisions of the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification, making them eligible to use only 7,000 square meters, which was nearly half of the actual land allotted by the government. This compelled the promoters to reduce the membership to 92 and they provided this list to the Mumbai Collector, who further reduced it to about 70 members saying that most of the members were not eligible. As the land was reduced, the building could only accommodate 82 members for 1,000 square feet flats.

As the file began moving in all the secretariat departments, politicians also demanded a share in the society to clear the proposal.

Currently, it is thought that Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan, taking a lesson from the Adarsh housing scam, may delete names of some politicians and bureaucrats or delay the allotment of land to Indus Society.

Warm Regards,


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Adarsh Scam: Send this letter to CM Prithviraj Chavan asking why no action yet?

Dear friends,

It is over two weeks since Prithviraj Chavan’s swearing in as Chief Minister of Maharashtra. I think some of us had hopes that after he came, we would see action against culprits of Adarsh scam. However, till date, nothing has happened. Ramanand Tiwari is still the State Information Commissioner, no FIR has been registered, and things appear to be back to business-as-usual.

Send this letter to the CM to tell him that we are not fooled:

This letter is also copy-pasted below.





28 November 2010


Shri Prithviraj Chavan,

Chief Minister of Maharashtra,

Mantralaya, 6th Floor,

Madame Cama Road,

Mumbai 400032

Sub: Your Failure to Act against Adarsh Culprits shows Contempt of Citizens


Congratulations on your new assignment as Chief Minister. Need we remind you that you are in this post because of the Adarsh scam? As an unfamiliar figure in the politics of this state, your only claim to legitimacy as CM in the common man’s eyes is your seeming willingness to punish the scamsters. Otherwise, what is the difference between you and your tainted predecessor?

Two days ago, Supreme Court Justice A K Ganguly reprimanded CBI for “beating around the bush” in the 2G Spectrum scam instead of interrogating Mr A Raja and filing FIR. In the case of Adarsh also, your government and CBI are beating around the bush. Mr Sushilkumar Shinde, Mr Vilasrao Deshmukh, Mr Ashok Chavan, Dr Suresh Joshi, Mr Ramanand Tiwari and Mr Jairaj Phatak have not been interrogated. Also, no FIR has been registered despite ample documentary evidence of criminal wrongdoings. There is no move to put these influential persons under judicial restraint to save evidence from being tampered, and witnesses being pressured.

Instead, the culprits’ positions of eminence in the State and at the Centre are intact. Mr Tiwari continues to be State Information Commissioner. Mr Phatak is Additional Secretary, Union Ministry of Panchayati Raj. Dr Joshi, who recently retired as Chief Information Commissioner of Maharashtra, is tipped to become advisor to YASHADA.

Sir, you were until very recently Minister of State (MOS) of Prime Minister’s office and of DOPT—the department in charge of CBI. And now you are Chief Minister of Maharashtra. No matter which way one looks at it, you are squarely responsible for the government’s extreme leniency in this matter.

We ask you to take immediate action to make amends.

Yours Sincerely,

(Your signature, name, address, phone number)

Copy to: 1. Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, South Block, New Delhi - 110001.

2. Mrs Sonia Gandhi, 10 Janpath, New Delhi - 110001.


Krishnaraj Rao

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Video: Building a better India, one citizen at a time

Fellow citizens,

A clean, non-corrupt India is what we all want. But for this, many things need to change... including our mindset. See this video-presentation and reflect:

Liked the presentation? Become part of the great Indian awakening. Forward this to your friends and colleagues.



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Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Why is CBI, and not ACB, investigating Adarsh? A fresh development, some inconvenient questions

Mumbai, 16 Nov: Activist Santosh Daundkar and his lawyer Y P Singh today moved the Metropolitan Magistrate at Esplanade Court to direct Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to register a First Information Report (FIR) against former IAS officer Ramanand Tiwari (currently State Information Commissioner) and other key players in the Adarsh scam. This is because their complaint to ACB did not result in an FIR being registered till date. As per the Criminal Procedure Code (CrPC), FIR must be registered within 48 hours if cognizable offences are clearly made out in the complaint. The case will come up for hearing before the magistrate on December 1.

Y P Singh argues that CBI’s ongoing investigation is an effort to pull wool over citizens’ eyes and letting the main culprits slip away. “As per the CBI manual, where a larger number of State Government Officers and fewer Central Govt. officers are involved, the jurisdiction for investigating the offences rests with the State ACB. Also, why has no FIR been registered yet? Until FIR is registered, the law of the land does not empower any investigating agency to conduct meaningful investigations,” he says.


A. HAS CBI REGISTERED AN FIR? IF SO, ARE SUSHIL KUMAR SHINDE, VILASRAO DESHMUKH AND ASHOK CHAVAN NAMED AS THE ACCUSED? One wonders whether by asking CBI to handle investigations, the Prime Minister is attempting to shield them. CBI is directly under Personnel Ministry/DOPT, which is a portfolio held by Dr Manmohan Singh himself. Also, until becoming the Chief Minister, Prithviraj Chavan was Minister of State for Persmin/DOPT.

B. IS CBI OUTSIDE ITS PROPER JURISDICTION? Look at CBI’s website ( which says, “The following broad categories of criminal cases are handled by the CBI: Cases of corruption and fraud committed by public servants of all Central Govt. Departments, Central Public Sector Undertakings and Central Financial Institutions.” Under the subhead, ‘Jurisdiction of CBI vis-a-vis State Police’, it says, “Law and Order is a State subject and the basic jurisdiction to investigate crime lies with State Police. Besides, due to limited resources, CBI would not be able to investigate crimes of all kind. CBI may investigate: Cases which are essentially against Central Govt. employees or concerning affairs of the Central Govt; Cases in which the financial interests of the Central Government are involved; Cases relating to the breaches of Central Laws with the enforcement of which the Government of India is mainly concerned; Cases having interstate and international ramifications and involving several official agencies where, from all angles, it is considered necessary that a single investigating agency should be in charge of the investigation.”

BY CONTRAST, THE JURISDICTION OF ACB MAHARASHTRA IS BEYOND QUESTION. ACB’s website ( ) states, “The Anti-Corruption Bureau has jurisdiction over the State of Maharashtra. Police Officers attached to the Bureau are competent to investigate cases against all public servants, irrespective of the fact whether the public servant concerned is under the control of the Central Government or of the State Government... However, there is a separate agency (i.e. the Central Bureau of Investigation) to deal with cases against Central Government Servants. Hence, to avoid duplication of work, the officers of the Bureau make enquiries and investigations into complaints only against servants of the State Government, of the statutory Corporations of Bodies set up and financed by the State Government...”

Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 ( defines the term “public servants” in the broadest possible way as “any person in the pay of the government”. Even ministers and legislators are “public servants” under this definition. ACB derives its mandate under this Act.

C. CBI IS UNDER SUPERINTENDENCE OF CENTRAL VIGILANCE COMMISSION (CVC), WHICH HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER POLITICIANS. As per the CVC Act notified on 12.09.2003, the superintendence over CBI relating to investigation of offences alleged to have been committed under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988, vests in Central Vigilance Commission. Even if we ignore the fact that the current CVC Mr P J Thomas is himself a tainted bureaucrat, how does one cope with the fact that CVC does not have jurisdiction over politicians, and that it merely forwards complaints against bureaucrats to the respective department heads to investigate and report back? These are critical deficiencies that have been pointed out by Karnataka Lokayukta Justice Santosh Hegde, former CVC P Shankar, senior Supreme Court advocate Prashant Bhushan and others.

Admittedly, the involvement of defense land and defense personnel – a central subject -- provides a fig-leaf of justification for CBI’s involvement. The question that we are asking Dr Manmohan Singh is: Mr Prime Minister, are you misusing your direct power over CBI for shielding your cabinet colleagues Sushil Kumar Shinde and Vilasrao Deshmukh?


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Monday, November 8, 2010

Mumbai Mirror: A new way to ‘stamp’ out Adarsh corruption

Activists putting stickers with photos of CM, netas on South Mumbai pavements for people to kick, spit on them

Has the Adarsh CHS scam left you angry and frustrated? A bunch of activists are offering the more disgruntled amongst you the chance to express that anger by stepping on, spitting and kicking those involved in the scam. Over 1,000 stickers with photographs of the tainted politicians and bureaucrats have been printed and will be plastered on South Mumbai pavements.

Each sticker comes with the messages: “I stole your land in the name of war widows,” “Spit on my face” and “Walk on my face”. The protesters, led by RTI activist Krishnaraj Rao claim, once pasted, these stickers which cost the protestors Rs 5 apiece, will not come off easily.

For complete news pl visit:

YP Singh to expose SIC Ramanand Tiwari with documents

The fraud and corruption of Ramanand Tiwari – currently State Information Commissioner and formerly IAS officer in Maharashtra state administration – is a story in its own right. Eminent lawyer Y P Singh will tell Mr Tiwari’s story tomorrow to a gathering of activists and journalists, along with documentary evidence.

Venue: Press Club, Azad Maidan, Mahanagarpalika Marg

Date & Time: Tuesday, 9 November, 3 pm

Organizers: RTI Activists of Jana Gana Mana Group

You are cordially invited with friends.



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Friday, November 5, 2010

Adarsh: How to publicly show anger with stickers on footpaths

The Adarsh expose’ has had a double effect on me. On the one hand, I feel satisfied because the duplicity of CSIC Dr Suresh Joshi and SIC Ramanand Tiwari lies exposed before the entire nation. We RTI activists don’t need to prove that they are cheats, frauds and liars. Things are out in the open.

But another thought makes me disgusted: every time Joshi or Tiwari sat across the table with an appellant seeking information on building projects or public spaces, these SICs were conducting fake hearings. How many thousand appellants got fake hearings in this way? How many times did these SICs knowingly let the Building Proposal or Urban Development PIO get away with lies? How many Adarsh-type buildings did these two SICs protect from citizens? How many RTI appellants lost their faith in RTI due to these SICs’ slippery behaviour?

Even complainants who attended the Lokshahi Din hearings held by Municipal Commissioner Jairaj Phatak must be feeling betrayed, especially in matters concerning Building Proposal Dept. There are so many wrongdoings that he must have known about, but kept feigning ignorance of.

This thought of us all being daily decieved -- does it fill you with rage? Or am I the only angry one here?

AN UNCOMFORTABLE QUESTION TO MAHARASHTRA: Will only an insult to Chhatrapati Shivaji arouse anger in the people of Maharashtra? Otherwise, they can be safely molested everyday without becoming really angry? What sort of people are we collectively?

PAPER STICKERS TO EXPRESS RAGE WITH AUTHORITIES: I am looking for a way of non-violently expressing anger. Look at these stickers about Ramanand Tiwari, Suresh Joshi, Jairaj Phatak, Ashok Chavan and Vilasrao Deshmukh:

It shows each person’s photo and says, “I stole your land in the name of war widows. Walk on my face. Spit on my face.”

Each sticker of about one-square-foot will cost five rupees apiece, I think.In a single day, one can unobtrusively stick hundreds of these in important pedestrian parts of the city, such as outside railway stations, pavements on Marine Drive, Chowpatty, Queen’s Road etc. And there they will stay for a week or two, making a constant statement.

What if one get picked up by the cops for doing this? What crime can one be charged with? It would be interesting to find out – certainly not obstructing pedestrians! After all, there are lakhs of hawkers and shopkeepers putting boxes etc. and occupying footpaths without inviting police action.

Still, police may eventually register an FIR somehow. If and when that happens, I think that we all will enjoy the irony: Mega-crore scamsters are still enjoying their positions, while a lone non-violent protestor is behind bars. Personally, I will happily allow that irony to emerge and become a reality. Who knows, I might not even seek bail.

What do you think? Do these stickers express what is in your mind? Would you like any changes? Would you like to join me?

Or does the sight of these stickers shock you and turn you off? And why is that? Is it that “woh bhi kissee ke baap aur patee hain?” And therefore, their good names should not be dishonoured on the street?

Come on, talk to me!



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