An intervention application filed in the Bombay High Court (HC) Wednesday urged the HC to revoke its August 7 order staying prosecution of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society scam case.
The HC had on August 7 stayed Chavan’s prosecution, while acting on a plea of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that challenged a special CBI court order rejecting the investigating agency’s plea to drop Chavan’s name from among the accused in the case.
Tirodkar sought dismissal of the CBI’s plea, contending that the agency cannot challenge an interlocutory order of the trial court which had rejected the CBI’s plea to drop Chavan’s name from the chargesheet. The activist also contended that no court can grant a stay for any reason whatsoever upon the proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.
While urging that his plea be allowed, Tirodkar said Chavan had met the Maharashtra Governor when the CBI’s proposal for sanction was pending before the latter.
The High Court had earlier accepted the submissions of CBI contending that Chavan cannot be prosecuted as the central agency probing the case did not have the Maharashtra Governor’s sanction. The agency had on January 15, filed an application in the special CBI court seeking to drop Chavan’s name from the chargesheet in the case.
The Governor had, on December 17, 2013, refused to grant sanction to prosecute Chavan. The special court in its order turning down the CBI’s plea, noted that the governor refused sanction on several grounds, particularly on the ground that the circumstantial evidence collected by the CBI did not prima facie show the commission of an offence on Chavan’s part.
As a result, the CBI sought the deletion of his name from the case, as he cannot be prosecuted for offences punishable under the Indian Penal Code (IPC).
The agency, in its chargesheet, had alleged that Chavan had increased the floor space index of the controversial Adarsh Society in lieu of two flats allotted to his relatives.
The CBI also alleged that Chavan asked the society to take 40 per cent members from civilian category, when it was originally meant only for war veterans.
The Adarsh judicial commission report also said the Adarsh scheme enjoyed political patronage from the late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde, Ashok Chavan and NCP ministers Sunil Tatkare and Rajesh Tope.