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Adarsh housing scam: Bombay High Court rejects Maharashtra governor's sanction to prosecute Ashok Chavan

The Bombay High Court on Friday set aside the sanction granted by Maharashtra governor to prosecute Congress leader and former state chief minister Ashok Chavan in Adarsh housing scam case, said media reports.

Chavan had earlier filed a petition challenging Governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s sanction to prosecute him for his role in the Adarsh housing society scam.

Responding to the high court's verdict Chavan told News18 that the present governor's order was "politically motivated" and totally uncalled for. "The truth has prevailed. I have full faith in the judiciary," Chavan added.

The court, in September, had reserved its order on Chavan's petition challenging Rao's decision granting the CBI sanction to prosecute him.

The governor had in February 2016 granted the sanction to prosecute the former Maharashtra chief minister under various sections of the IPC related to criminal conspiracy and cheating and under the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

 Adarsh housing scam: Bombay High Court rejects Maharashtra governors sanction to prosecute Ashok Chavan

File photo of Ashok Chavan. AFP

Chavan had challenged Rao's order in the high court, calling it "arbitrary, illegal and unjust" and passed with "mala fide intentions".

Chavan, currently the president of the Maharashtra unit of the Congress, had served as chief minister of the state between December 2008 and November 2010 before he was asked to step down on charges of corruption in the Adarsh scam.

His counsel Amit Desai had argued before a division bench of Justices Ranjit More and Sadhana Jadhav that the governor's order was "politically biased and motivated".

Desai cited the December 2013 decision of the then Maharashtra governor K Sankaranarayanan who had refused to grant sanction to prosecute Chavan.

Subsequently, CBI in 2014 approached the special court seeking deletion of Chavan's name from the case. "When the lower court rejected the CBI's application, the agency approached the high court which also dismissed their plea. Later, when the BJP came to power at the Centre and in the state, the CBI sought a review of the 2013 decision," Desai had argued highlighting how the CBI's stance in the case changed with a change in power at the state and Centre.

The CBI had told the high court then that if Chavan's petition was allowed, it would amount to his acquittal, which would render the entire probe exercise futile.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2017 12:00:27 IST

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