The Bombay High Court on Friday granted a huge relief to Congress leader Ashok Chavan by setting aside the sanction for his prosecution in the Adarsh controversy by the Maharashtra governor. The order comes as vindication for Chavan, who had suffered the ignominy of having to step down as chief minister in November 2010 following allegations of his involvement.
On 4 February 2016, Maharashtra governor C Vidyasagar Rao had granted sanction to prosecute Chavan in the case for offences related to conspiracy and cheating.
The FIR filed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in the case states that Chavan, in his capacity as revenue minister of Maharashtra, "became a member of the criminal conspiracy with accused RC Thakur, Brig Madan Mohan Wanchu and Kanhaiyalal Gidwani and in pursuance to the same, he proposed to include the civilians as members in the (Adarsh housing) society with ulterior motive to make his relatives as members in the society."
Thakur, Wanchu and Gidwani were promoters of the housing society.
The 31-storey structure in the upscale Cuffe Parade area of south Mumbai was initially said to be meant for retired defence personnel.
Three of Chavan's relatives — his sister-in-law Seema Sharma, mother-in-law Bhagwati Sharma and father-in-law's brother Madanlal Sharma — were members of the society.
However, in a deposition to a two-member commission probing the alleged scam, he claimed that he was unaware of his relatives holding flats in the society till media reports surfaced about the matter. His relatives later gave up their membership.
In an affidavit before the commission, Chavan had sought to pass the blame for the controversy on to Vilasrao Deshmukh — his predecessor in the post of chief minister — stating that he allotted land for the project, as reported by India Today. Deshmukh, on his part, also blamed Chavan, stating that he allotted land to the society based on the recommendation of the revenue minister and that the chief minister does not look into individual files.
The commission, in its report, had indicted Chavan for 'quid pro quo' and said he had given political patronage to the promoters of the society. However, it had not held him guilty of allowing civilian membership to the extent of 40 percent in the society, an allegation which was made by the CBI, according to Hindustan Times.
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Updated Date: Dec 22, 2017 15:35:16 IST