‘How much land does a man need’

Summing up its 670-page report, the two-member Adarsh Commission said 'Adarsh' meant ideal or role model, but the facts in evidence reflected greed, nepotism and favourtism on the part of some people who were, in some way, associated with Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society (CHS).

The Commission was chaired by Justice (retired) J A Patil and had former state chief secretary P Subrahmanyam as its other member. Expressing disappointment, the Commission said, "Adarsh is not a saga of ideal cooperation, but is a shameless tale of blatant violations of statutory provisions, rules and regulations. The case of Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society is neither ideal nor a role model, but has turned out to be a bad precedent".

According to the commission, the conduct of the dramatis personae reminded it of a famous story 'How Much land Does a Man Need?' by Russian writer Leo Tolstoy. "It is a story of a poor peasant who was not satisfied with whatever small land he had with him. He was lured by the Devil to accept the offer of becoming owner of as much land as he could go round on his feet from the sunrise to sunset only for 1,000 roubles. The poor fellow, overcome by irresistible greed, started running round so that he could eventually be the owner of a big plot. However, at sunset, before he could reach the starting point, he collapsed, spat blood and died. His servant picked up a spade and dug a grave long enough for the peasant to lie in and buried him in it saying, all that a man needs is a plot of six feet — from his head to his heels."

The Commission said the Adarsh CHS case was "a sad story of unscrupulous greed of some persons closely connected with the Society". "It is found that some persons, dissatisfied with allotment of a single flat in the Society, tried and succeeded in securing flats for their near and dear ones. For this purpose, they went even to the extent of making benami transactions in violation of the provisions of the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988," it said.

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