The Maharashtra government Thursday filed an affidavit before the Bombay High Court stating that the Governor’s sanction to prosecute former chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society case was not politically motivated.
The government filed this affidavit in response to a petition by Chavan challenging Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s nod for his prosecution by the CBI.
“It is denied that the order is pre-meditated or is the result of political motivation and escalation of BJP,” states the affidavit, denying it to be “part of a strategy to neutralise the petitioner (Chavan) politically.”
In February 2016, Governor Rao had allowed the CBI to prosecute Chavan for offences under IPC Sections 120 (b)(criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) and under various provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.
The affidavit was filed by Somnath Bagul, joint secretary of the government’s General Administration Department.
It added that the Governor sought advice from the council of ministers and after “applying his mind to the material” found it fit to grant sanction.
“The Governor has recorded his satisfaction that prima facie there is certainly a nexus established between all the acts of the petitioner and benefits derived by his close relatives in the form of memberships of Adarsh society,” stated the affidavit.
According to the affidavit, the CBI approached the Governor for the second time for sanction as there was additional and fresh material against Chavan. The CBI has relied on the report submitted by a two-member judicial commission set up by the government to inquire into the Adarsh scam. The affidavit also referred to the high court order passed last year relating to demolition of the Adarsh building.
The court had directed the government to initiate criminal action not only against the bureaucrats concerned but also against ministers and politicians related to the scam.