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Adarsh: HC refuses to drop Ashok Chavan from accused list

The court added a lot of time had already been spent during the pendency of the application.

ashok chavan, ashok chavan hearing After the order, Ashok Chavan sought a fresh hearing.

The Bombay High Court has rejected the plea of State Congress head and former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan seeking a recall of an earlier order wherein the HC had rejected application of CBI seeking the dropping of Chavan’s name from the list of accused in Adarsh Housing society scam case.

“The application is dismissed. The prayer to stay the order is rejected,” said Justice M L Tahaliyani while adding a lot of time had already been spent during the pendency of the application.

Justice Tahaliyani had November last rejected CBI’s plea seeking to drop Chavan’s name from its chargesheet. The judge had observed that the Special CBI judge took cognisance of the offence saying in “very unambiguous” language that Chavan’s exoneration for want of sanction from the Governor for prosecution of the offences under the IPC did not entitle relief from other offences under the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act.

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After the order, Chavan, through senior counsel Amit Desai, sought a fresh hearing, contending that the HC did not arguments on cognisance taken by the trial court. Desai contended it was contrary to the Principles of Natural Justice and sought recall of the HC order.

The CBI’s contention had been that the then Governor had refused to grant sanction for the prosecution of the former CM. Chavan’s lawyer, senior counsel Amit Desai, had then said the likes of former CM Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, former minister Jayant Patil and bureaucrat D Shankaran had not been made accused despite their relatives getting membership in the housing society.

As far as granting 15 per cent exemption for recreation ground (RG) space was concerned, Desai contended that not granting benefit of the exemption to the society would have meant discrimination as it was in public interest and led to legal implications.

In addition, the CBI’s lawyer Hiten Venegaonkar had told the court that former Governor K Sankaranarayanan had refused to grant sanction on the ground that there was no material given by CBI to show criminal conspiracy or to prosecute him under Section 120 (b) of the IPC. Relying on this, Venegaonkar contended that Section 13 1(d) (criminal misconduct by government servant) of the PCA would not stand as the allegations were only of granting exemption of 15 per cent RG to Adarsh, but it was within his powers.

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When asked about the next legal step after the dismissal of their application, Desai told The Indian Express, “Unless we see the order we cannot say anything.”

First published on: 05-03-2015 at 12:22:44 am
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