PV Deshmukh, one of the accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, has moved the Bombay high court challenging the search and seizure conducted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the subsequent freezing of bank accounts of the retired bureaucrat and his daughter.
The CBI had registered an FIR in connection with the high-rise in Cuffe Parade on January 29, and named the 64-year-old bureaucrat as one of the accused.
According to the FIR, while working as deputy secretary, Urban Development Department, Deshmukh had, in 2003, fraudulently communicated to the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) that the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) had given an NOC for construction of the 31-storey structure, though no such NOC had been granted by the central ministry.
Deshmukh, who retired in October 2004 as director, town planning and valuation, contended that in his official capacity, he had merely forwarded the scam-hit society’s application to the MoEF and communicated the MoEF’s decision to the BMC.
“I have not dealt with the files or correspondence connected with Adarsh thereafter,” his petition states.
On February 2, 2011, CBI had searched Deshmukh’s flat at Damani Estate in Thane, and seized documents, some electronic material and Rs22.50 lakh. The central agency attached Deshmukh’s three bank accounts, his pension account and a bank account in his daughter Dr Supriya’s name.
Deshmukh said the cash was accounted for and declared to the Income Tax department. He has sought for the cash to be returned to him, saying the CBI had no authority to seize it. He said attaching his pension account was contrary to legal provisions, which state retirement benefits cannot be attached.
A division bench of justice PV Hardas and justice ND Deshpande, on Monday, directed the CBI to file an affidavit in two weeks.