The Supreme Court on Thursday stayed the trial against former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh society scam case even as the CBI told the bench that it would soon file an appeal against the Bombay High Court order quashing the sanction accorded by the state governor to prosecute the Congress leader in the case.
Staying the proceedings, a bench of Justices J Chelameswar and Sanjay Kishan Kaul called for expeditious and time-bound trial in cases involving politicians and referred to a recent order by another bench of the apex court giving the go-ahead to a government scheme for setting up 12 special courts for trying such cases.
“We have read in newspaper that criminal cases against politicians has been directed by the Supreme Court to be disposed of expeditiously. This court shall make the start and list this matter in the month of March for final disposal. Lot of things we come to know nowadays from newspapers,” the bench said.
Senior advocate Kapil Sibal told the bench that the instant case was an appeal against an order of the Bombay High Court that upheld a trial court order refusing to delete Chavan’s name from the list of accused. The bench asked Sibal what the case was about. Sibal said it was alleged by the CBI that Chavan, during his tenure as Maharashtra revenue minister, had illegally approved allotment of 40 per cent of flats to civilians even though the society was originally meant for defence personnel.
“Is this case related to Adarsh housing society case?” queried the bench. Sibal replied that it was related to the Adarsh case, pointing out that the Bombay High Court had in December last year quashed the sanction accorded by the Maharashtra governor to prosecute Chavan.
Senior advocate Rana Mukherjee, appearing for the CBI, said the agency would be filing an appeal against the HC order.
Chavan had quit as CM in November 2010 over graft charges in connection with the Adarsh case. The court will hear the matter next on March 13.