A fortnight after the Maharashtra government questioned the CBI's authority to probe the Adarsh housing society scam, the Bombay high court on Wednesday allowed the defence ministry to contest the state's stand by intervening in pending PILs in the matter.
A division bench of Justice SA Bobde and justice Mridula Bhatkar granted the ministry two weeks' time to file its intervention application. The CBI initiated a preliminary inquiry into the scam on a reference forwarded by the defence ministry for probing the allotment of defence-owned land for the building construction.
"The ministry wants to contest the stand taken by the state government, and has sought permission to file an intervention application," senior advocate Kevic Setalwad, who is representing the ministry, said.
Senior advocate Shekhar Naphade, who represents the housing society, opposed the request saying the ministry has no say in the matter. Anil Sakhare, special counsel for Maharashtra, also said the state had objections to the intervention plea. But the court discarded their objections. "Prima facie, we don't agree with you," it said.
Naphade then said that if the court was inclined to grant the ministry time to file an intervention application, it should order the CBI not to file the chargesheet. The court declined to accede to his request.