Mumbai: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday defended the governor's sanction for prosecuting Congress leader Ashok Chavan in Adarsh scam case, stating the step was taken as per the advice of the state's top law officer and rejected the "vendetta" charge.
Governor C Vidyasagar Rao on Thursday gave sanction to CBI to prosecute former chief minister Ashok Chavan in the case, days after the BJP-led state government recommended action against the leader, who is also a Lok Sabha MP.
Fadnavis said the opinion of the advocate general was sought on the sanction and the law officer clearly said "such permission should be and could be granted."
"CBI said after the last governor rejected permission to prosecute Ashok Chavan, a new set of facts was discovered which clearly proved quid pro quo, that is, he gave permissions (for construction of Adarsh building) and his close relatives got flats (in the housing society).
"Thus, CBI once again asked the governor to permit it to prosecute Chavan," Fadnavis told PTI.
He said the governor had forwarded the CBI's request to the council of ministers for aid and advice, which was in turn sent to the advocate general.
"The council of ministers, thus, decided to recommend the governor to act in accordance with the opinion of AG and the governor in turn gave his consent to CBI to prosecute (Chavan). Hence, there is no question of political vendetta (as alleged by Chavan)," he said.
Fadnavis sought to know why would the governor or the government refuse sanction to proceed against the Lok Sabha MP from Nanded (who is also president of Congress in Maharashtra), when the central agency has stated that it had evidence of his involvement in the case.
"Even when the earlier governor rejected permission and CBI went to the High Court, stating they don't want to file a chargesheet since governor had denied sanction, the Court did not accept its plea and directed it to file a chargesheet," Fadnavis said.
The erstwhile Congress-NCP government had also accepted the Adarsh Commission report which "clearly stated that Ashok Chavan is guilty". They only protected him in ATR (action taken report), saying CBI is already investigating so government does not need to take action, he added.