The CBI has filed an application in a special court seeking permission to drop former CM Ashok Chavan’s name from the list of 13 accused chargesheeted in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society scam. “We filed the application after the Maharashtra Governor, last month, refused to sanction prosecution (of Chavan),” Special Public Prosecutor Bharat Badami said. The special court has reserved its decision till January 18.
On December 20, the state-appointed judicial commission’s report indicting Chavan was tabled in the Assembly. Governor K Sakara- narayanan had, however, refused sanction for prosecuting Chavan days before that. Chavan, the only former CM named in the FIR, had contended that the CBI could not chargesheet him without the Governor’s sanction. The court had directed the agency to get the Governor’s sanction before proceeding in the case.
The CBI, in its chargesheet, said Chavan had increased the floor space index (FSI) of the Adarsh Society in lieu of flats allotted to his relatives. It also alleged that Chavan had asked the housing society to take 40 per cent civilian members. Three of Chavan’s relatives — mother-in-law Bhagvati Sharma, sister- in-law Seema Sharma and father-in-law’s brother Madanlal Sharma — figured in the list of Adarsh Society beneficiaries. The inquiry commission included their names in the list of 25 allottees found ineligible. “There was certainly a nexus between the acts of Ashok Chavan and benefits derived by his close relatives,” the commission had said. In its 891-page report, the panel also found fault with former CMs Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushil Kumar Shinde and Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil over the way in which issues of land allotment and granting of construction rights were handled.
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Meanwhile, Maharashtra BJP president Devendra Fadnavis said they would approach the Bombay HC to challenge “the blatant lies” of CM Prithviraj Chavan and the state’s flip-flop in the case. “After the Cabinet accepted the Adarsh Commission’s report along with the new action taken report, Prithviraj (Chavan) said there was no need to file a second FIR against Ashok Chavan as the CBI was already investigating the case. Now, under whose pressure has the CBI sought to drop Ashok Chavan’s name? Is this not a case of the Congress governments at the Centre and the state misusing their power to shield the corrupt?” he said.
“The CBI has filed the chargesheet against Ashok Chavan after ascertaining the facts. Now they cannot withdraw their own case under political pressure,” said Fadnavis.