Bombay High Court asks CBI to further probe Adarsh Housing Society scam


Mumbai: Dissatisfied by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) report on the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the investigative agency to further probe the matter.

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“We are not satisfied with the investigation as reflected from the report submitted today on several issues,” said the bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed while commenting on the second report submitted on Wednesday by advocate Manisha Jagtap.

The bench also summoned the western zone joint director of the CBI who could not remain present on Wednesday despite the court’s direction earlier. 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 Cuff Parade for purportedly clearing files pertaining to the scam-hit society.

The court had asked the joint director to remain present in court on Wednesday, after noticing that the first report was “completely unsatisfactory.” Wategaonkar has also sought direction to the CBI to explain as to why it did not investigate and fix the responsibility for deletion of the proposed road widening of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg 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 activist has cited finding of Justice (retired) JA Patil Commission, which conducted an inquiry into the Adarsh scam, that dropping of proposed road widening 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,” quoted Wategaonkar from the commission report.

He 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.