Adarsh society scam: Gidwani back in CBI custody till April 3
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday remanded former Congress member of legislative council (MLC) and prime accused in the Adarsh housing scam Kanhaiyalal Gidwani to CBI custody till April 3.mumbai Updated: Mar 31, 2012 01:24 IST
A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court on Friday remanded former Congress member of legislative council (MLC) and prime accused in the Adarsh housing scam Kanhaiyalal Gidwani to CBI custody till April 3.
This came a few hours after justice RC Chavan of the Bombay high court set aside an earlier order of the special court refusing to extend Gidwani's CBI custody.
On March 26, the special court had refused to extend the custody after accepting the defence lawyer's argument that the accused was already in CBI custody for 10 days in a bribery case. He was then remanded to judicial custody.
Gidwani, his son, and two lawyers were arrested in the case earlier in the month before being released on bail. The CBI then arrested Gidwani again in the main Adarsh case.
The CBI sought extension of the former MLC’s custody in order to investigate ‘benami’ transactions. CBI counsel Ejaj Khan informed the court that it was taking time to unearth the transactions as they had been carried out in six to seven layers.
According to the CBI, while Gidwani owns three flats in the in the 31-storey building at Colaba, investigation revealed that he had made payment for four more flats through his bank account and, allegedly held the flats as ‘benami’ property.
Satish Maneshinde, who represented Gidwani, objected saying the agency was aware of all the transaction and had already seized the necessary documents. According to him, there was no need for custodial interrogation.
Khan, however, pointed out to the high court that Gidwani was earlier in CBI custody for 10 days in connection with the bribery case. Later he was in custody for four days in the Adarsh scam.
Khan pointed out that both were different offences and two separate FIRs had been lodged and therefore the special court should not have taken into consideration the period of custodial remand spent in the bribery case, while deciding the remand application in the Adarsh scam case.
Justice Chavan accepted the argument saying the lower court had overlooked distinction between the two cases. “They are separate and distinct offences,” the judge said.
Noting that Gidwani was arrested in the Adarsh case only on March 21 and his 15-day police custody period was not over, the high court directed the special court to decide the CBI's application for further custody afresh.
Chavan, however, raised query as to why the agency had made arrests a year after the FIR was registered. “After one year what evidence have you [CBI] got that arrests were made? Or was it because of bashing from another bench of this court for inaction?” the judge questioned.