A Bombay High Court Bench comprising Justices Naresh Patil and V L Achliya Thursday recused itself from hearing an application seeking that the CBI make former chief minister Shivajirao Nilangekar-Patil an accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
Justice Achliya said although he was “absolutely unaware” of the current matter involving the former CM, he had served as principal secretary (Law and judiciary) at Mantralaya when the Adarsh commission was set up.
“I served in Mantralaya for three-and-a-half years. As a member of the legal administration, I want to make it clear,” said Justice Achliya. He added that although this particular matter was different from what he had dealt with as Secretary, all petitions revolving around the Adarsh case had been clubbed together.
Justice Patil was of the view that a judge should be “completely free” while deciding on a case.
Activist and petitioner Pravin Wategaonkar has relied on an application of the CBI in a subordinate court, seeking the custody of former MLA and Adarsh promoter Kanhaiyalal Gidwani when he was arrested. “CBI, in its remand application, said Gidwani had opened an account in Kallappanna Awade Ichalkaranji Janata Sahakari Bank in Sangli under a proxy name and deposited huge amounts of cash in it. Most of the amount deposited was later transferred to the accounts of his wife, sons and daughters-in-law and also to the account of M/s Jai Maharashtra in which his sons are directors,” he alleged. Wategaonkar added, “Arun Dawle, son-in-law of Nilangekar-Patil, received at least Rs 17.60 lakh from the Jai Maharashtra account. Nilangekar-Patil misused his official position.”
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Nilangekar-Patil was revenue minister when the Adarsh Society was allotted land in Colaba in 2004.