In yet another blow to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI),a special court on Thursday granted bail to the last two arrested accused in the Adarsh housing society scam. Former Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation chief Jairaj Phatak and former state information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari,who were arrested on April 3 this year,were granted bail by the special CBI judge M V Kulkarni.
Both had applied for bail earlier this week on similar grounds as the other accused in the case that a chargesheet was not filed against them by the CBI within the stipulated 60-day period.
Tiwari,who is represented by advocate Satish Manehsinde,cited in his bail application that under Section 167 (2) of the CrPC,the accused had a right to be let off on bail when the investigating agency fails to file the chargesheet.
The bail was granted on a cash surety of Rs 5 lakh. One or two personal sureties of an equal amount will also have to be furnished, said advocate Sadanand Shetty,also representing Tiwari.
The accused have been asked to deposit their passports and to be available at the CBI office every Tuesday and Thursday between 10 am and 12 noon. Phatak and Tiwari stepped out of the Arthur Road Jail on Thursday evening.
Last week,the court had granted bail to seven other accused Maj Gen (retd) A R Kumar,Maj Gen (retd) T K Kaul,Brig (retd) M M Wanchu,former collector Pradeep Vyas,former sub-divisional superintendent of the Defence Estate Office R C Thakur (one of the main promoters of the Adarsh society),former deputy secretary of the state Urban Development Department P V Deshmukh and former Congress MLC Kanhaiyalal Gidwani (the chief promoter of Adarsh).
Opposing the bail,the CBI told the court that it was contemplating adding two new sections in the case. Two IPC Sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant or by banker,merchant or agent) and 467 (forgery of valuable security) could be added to the existing charges against the accused. However,the CBI did not seek an extension to file the chargesheet.
Asked if the CBI was going to arrest more accused,the agency told the court that it is still looking into the matter and it would decide depending on the evidence gathered.
All the accused have been charged with criminal conspiracy under the IPC and various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act.