The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Thursday moved the Bombay High Court challenging the refusal of the special CBI court to extend the police custody of former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani,accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
The special court had,on March 27,remanded Gidwani in judicial custody,accepting his contention that he had already spent ten days in CBI custody in a related bribery case. The CBI had,while seeking his further custody,claimed that his custodial interrogation was essential as the agency had found enough incriminating evidence against him.
CBI counsel Revati Dere told the High Court that the special court had sent Gidwani to judicial custody on a wrong premise that the CBI had exhausted its 15 days of custody for interrogation. The proprietor of the Adarsh Society was earlier in CBI custody for ten days for a distinct offence. Later,he was in custody for four days in the Adarsh scam. Both are different offences and two separate FIRs have been lodged, Dere told the court.
Justice R C Chavan will hear the case on Friday.
According to CBI,Gidwani was the chief promoter of the Colaba society and was instrumental in getting clearances from different state departments. It claims that while Gidwani has three flats of his own in the 31-storey residential high-rise,he paid for four other benami flats through his bank account. Of these four flats,two were reserved in proxy to oblige influential state government officials who dealt with the concerned file during the relevant period, the CBI had told the special court.
Gidwani had spent ten days in a case of allegedly bribing lawyers,including CBI counsel Mandar Goswami,in order to dilute the charges pressed against him in the scam. He was subsequently granted bail,but was arrested again by the CBI. He then spent four days in CBI custody.
Meanwhile,Gidwanis lawyers have moved a bail application in the special court. The application says Gidwani was a member of the Opposition when the scam allegedly took place and that it was bizarre to suggest that an MLC of a party in Opposition wielded so much influence in the state civil administration. The CBI,through the investigation,started a witch hunting campaign to malign,tarnish and bring into disrepute Gidwanis reputation, it says.