Adarsh case: Bombay high court not satisfied with investigation


Mumbai: The Bombay high court on Wednesday again expressed dissatisfaction about the investigation officer’s (IO) report about tracing high-ranking beneficiaries of four benami flats in Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society. “We are not satisfied with the investigation as reflected from the report submitted today on several issues,” said the bench of justices Abhay Oka and Amjad Sayed while commenting on the second report submitted on Wednesday by adv Manisha Jagtap.

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The bench also summoned the western zone’s joint director of the CBI who could not remain present on Wednesday despite earlier court direction. Acting on a plea by Thane-based activist Pravin Wategaonkar, the court had earlier sought a report from the investigating officer explaining as to why he did not investigate “high and mighty” people from Mantralaya for whom four flats were kept aside in the controversial high-rise building at Cuffe Parade for purportedly clearing files pertaining to the scam-hit society.

The court had asked the joint director to remain present in court today, after noticing that the first report to be “completely unsatisfactory.”

Wategaonkar has also sought direction to the CBI to explain as to why it did not investigate and fix the responsibility for deleting the proposed widening of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg, Colaba, and allotment of the plot reserved for the road widening without first getting it de-reserved. He contended that CBI had not looked into these aspects and nothing was mentioned about them in the three charge sheets filed by the central agency in the case.

In his plea, the Thane resident has cited the finding of the justice (retired) JA Patil Commission, which conducted an inquiry into the Adarsh scam, that dropping of proposed road widening plan and change in reservation of the plot “was not in accordance with the provisions of the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act and it was illegal and mala fide”.

He complained that the CBI did not hold anyone liable for it, although the Commission has recorded a finding that “Shri Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil as the [then] revenue minister had no authority to overrule the suggestion of the finance dept.” “The commission is therefore, of the opinion that undue haste was shown by Shri Shivajirao Nilangekar Patil in approving the grant of land in question to Adarsh CHS without authority,” Wategaonkar has quoted from the commission report.

The activist has also claimed that two flats in the scam-hit society were allotted to Nilangekar-Patil’s son-in-law Dr Arun Dawale and Dawale’s cousin Sampat Khidse in lieu of the favours shown by the former revenue minister to the scam-hit society, and thus the Congress leader was the ultimate beneficiary of the benami transactions.

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