Adarsh scam: Khadki vendor to move court to get his house back

PuneVishal Kedari’s house in a chawl at Surati Mohhalla, Khadki. Arul Horizon

The recently tabled Adarsh report, after dramatic intervention by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, has ruled out criminality on part of the politicians. But according to Vishal Kedari, a small-time vegetable vendor in Khadki who owns a Rs 70 lakh flat in Adarsh, the worry is that the report has named him a benami member of society.

"Though I have not got any official communication, I have been told that the report calls me a benami owner. Why am I being called a benami owner, when all my transactions have been transparent and the payments have been made in cheque?" Kedari asks. He now plans to file a petition in the court. "I am raising funds to go to the court. I have to talk to my lawyer," he said.

Ever since the Adarsh scam broke, Kedari has been allegedly tagged as the front-man of Sevak Nayyar, the former CEO of Khadki Cantonment Board (KCB) and later the Defence Estates Officer (DEO), Pune Circle, whose "wife issued cheques worth Rs 26 lakh in favour of Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society to facilitate Kedari's purchase," says Kedari.

While Rs 30 lakh were paid by two other individuals in cheque, the remaining amount according to Kedari was raised on his own. "I am clean. The money was given to me on loan and the lenders have been asking me for repayment. Thanks to the understanding between us they are lenient," hesaid.

The Adarsh scam has spoilt Kedari's plans to return the money to those who lent it to him. "If this had worked out, by now I would have given it on rent. And I would have started repayimg the loan that Nayyar and others have given me," he says.

While the investigating agencies continue to believe that Kedari is Nayyar's front-man, Kedari has his reasoning in place. "If I was so close to Nayyar, then why is it that during his tenure as the CEO of KCB, I was declined the offer of a 'safai kamgar' in KCB, four times in a row? Why is it that when I first met R C Thakur, the promoter of Adarsh, he rejected my proposal to buy a house? I am being targeted because I am from the Scheduled Castes," he said.

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