Adarsh Housing scam accused Gidwani dies

Former Congress MLC and key accused in Adarsh Housing Society scam Kanhaiyalal Gidwani (64) passed away on Tuesday morning following a brief illness.

Gidwani, who was admitted to Breach Candy last week, had suffered a cardiac arrest.

"He had suffered a heart attack three days ago. On hospitalisation, the doctors informed that he had suffered brain haemorrhage too. He was on ventilator and did not show any sign of recovery," said Gidwani's cousin.

One of the chief promoters of the Adarsh cooperative, Gidwani hit the headlines after the CBI accused him of conspiring and getting irregularities legalised in the 31-storey building in South Mumbai. Gidwani, who was arrested on March 20, was suspended by the party.

A businessman, who spent over two months behind bars, he had health complaints due to diabetes and also suffered from retina detachment. He had to be hospitalised while in judicial custody.

According to the chargesheet filed by the CBI, Gidwani owned three flats in the society, one in his and two his sons' name, besides some benami flats. He was accused of entering into a conspiracy with other accused, including armymen, politicians and bureaucrats, and allegedly used his political connections to get permissions. Gidwani, who was with the Sena in the early 2000, had allegedly approached former chief minister and an accused in the case, Ashok Chavan, to add 40 per cent civilians to the society members' list. Later, Gidwani moved to the Congress and allegedly introduced civilians into the society and got allotments cleared, claimed the chargehseet. As an influential Congress functionary and a society office bearer, Gidwani played the role of key conduit between the Maharashtra government and society, said the CBI.

A former Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee spokesperson, Gidwani was charged under sections 120B, 420, 467, 471 of the IPC, sections 13(2) read with 13(1)(d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 and section 3 of the Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

Along with his son Kailash, he was booked in another bribery case by the CBI for allegedly paying Rs 1.25 crore to financial consultant J K Jagiasi to influence CBI officials investigating the Adarsh housing society case. The CBI is yet to file a chargesheet in this matter.

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