The Bombay High Court Thursday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to ask a special CBI court not to go ahead with proceedings in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. The court was hearing a petition filed by former chief minister Ashok Chavan, challenging a decision of Maharashtra Governor C Vidyasagar Rao granting sanction to the CBI to prosecute him in the Adarsh housing society scam.
A division bench, headed by Justice Ranjit More, was informed by Chavan’s counsel Amit Desai that the special CBI court has posted the Adarsh case on June 21 and has said it would go ahead with issuing summons in the case. “This is despite the CBI giving an assurance to the Supreme Court, where another petition has been filed, that it (CBI) would not go ahead with the proceedings in the trial court,” Desai said.
“Inform the lower court not to proceed with the matter there. We will hear Chavan’s petition on June 21,” Justice More said to CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar. In February last year, Governor Rao had granted sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan for offences under the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy and cheating as well as the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act. Chavan’s petition had termed the Governor’s order as “arbitrary, illegal and unjust” passed without “proper application of mind” and with “mala fide intentions”.
CBI had accused Chavan of approving additional floor. Chavan had to step down as the state’s chief minister after his name got embroiled in Adarsh housing society scam. While the CBI named him as an accused in its FIR, in December 2013, the then Governor K Sankaranarayanan had refused permission to the investigating agency to prosecute Chavan in the scam. However, in March 2015, the HC dismissed a petition filed by Chavan seeking deletion of his name as an accused in the case.
Following this, the CBI re-approached the Governor, seeking sanction for prosecuting him, which was granted in February 2016.