The Bombay high court on Thursday summoned Amrit Prasad, western zone joint director for Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), after noticing that the investigation officer’s report about tracing high-ranking beneficiaries of four benami flats in Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society was “completely unsatisfactory”.
“This is complete non-application of mind”, said the division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Amjad Sayed while commenting on the report.
Acting on a plea filed 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 at Cuff Parade for purportedly clearing files pertaining the tainted society.
Wategaonkar also sought direction to the CBI to explain as to why it did not investigate and fix the responsibility for deletion of the proposed widening of Captain Prakash Pethe Marg and allotment of the plot reserved for the road widening work without first getting it de-reserved. He contended that the CBI had not looked into these aspects and nothing was mentioned about them in the three charge sheets filed by it in the case.
In his plea, the activist cited findings of the Justice (Retired) JA Patil Commission, which conducted an inquiry into the Adarsh scam, that dropping of proposed road widening work 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 panel 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 quoted from the Commission report.
The activist also claimed that two flats in the society were allotted to Nilangekar Patil’s son-in-law Dr Arun Dawale and his cousin Sampat Khidse in lieu of the favours done by the former revenue minister towards the scam-hit society, and thus the Congress leader was the ultimate beneficiary of the benami transactions.