Saying that it was “not satisfied” with the CBI probe into the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society case, the Bombay High Court Wednesday directed the agency to carry out further investigations to verify allegations of proxy flats being held by “high and mighty” persons in the former Congress-NCP government in the state.
A division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed ordered the CBI to seek formal approval from the court concerned to carry out a more extensive probe.
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The bench was hearing a PIL filed by activist Praveen Wategaonkar, who has alleged that the flats were allotted to persons from the Maharashtra government in lieu of obtaining approvals and clearing files for the building. The CBI has submitted two reports to the High Court in the last two months.
The High Court had directed the CBI Joint Director to be present for Wednesday’s briefing. “We have seen both reports and have recorded findings of both. We are not satisfied with the reports. We want to know whether the CBI wants to carry out investigation and file a further report,” the court said. Additional solicitor general Anil Singh told the court that while the agency had completed its investigation in the case, it could conduct a further probe if the court was not satisfied.
The court then pointed out certain aspects from the PIL, which refer to two flats being reserved under proxy names “to oblige some high and mighty persons in the government of Maharashtra, who dealt with the file during the relevant period…”
The PIL also refers to payment for the flats being made through the accused, former Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal Gidwani’s bank accounts. “We find no proper investigation carried out on these aspects from both reports,” the court said, referring to the points mentioned in the remand application the CBI had filed while seeking custody of the now deceased Gidwani.
Wategaonkar has alleged that though the CBI had mentioned these allegations in the remand report, it was not part of its chargesheet or its probe.
The court pulled up the CBI for not probing these aspects further despite orders by another division bench order of the High Court. “In both reports, the investigating officer has not stated that in the light of the direction issued by the division bench, the CBI felt no necessity of carrying out any further investigation,” the court observed.