The Bombay high court on Monday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to make their stand clear on investigating 15 more persons, including former Maharashtra chief ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh, Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar and Sushilkumar Shinde, in connection with Adarsh Co-operative Housing Society scam.
A division bench of the Bombay high court has given four weeks’ time to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the ED to file a reply on an affidavit filed by Thane resident Pravin Wategaonkar seeking direction to investigate the alleged roles played by at least 15 more persons including the three former chief ministers, other than those already booked by the CBI in the scam
The other names include the then speaker of Maharashtra Legislative Assembly Babasaheb Kupekar, General (retired) Deepak Kapoor, former Maharashtra Chief Secretary DK Shankaran, CS Sangitrao, former secretary in the chief minister’s Office, IA Kundan, the then city collector and Devyani Khobragade daughter of ex-GM of BEST Uttam Khobragade.
Relying on the report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India and the I-T department’s investigations, Wategaonkar, in his affidavit filed on April 27, has alleged that these 15 persons, including the three former chief ministers, have misused their official positions for personal benefit.
He has alleged that certain persons were holding benami flats in the housing society on behalf of the three former Maharashtra chief ministers. One of them, Deshmukh, was at the helm of affairs in the state and the Urban Development Department when the proposed widening of Captain Prakash Pethe marg was dropped and permission was given to the housing society to utilise FSI of 2,669 square metres (in addition to FSI of 3,824 square metres of the original plot) of the adjoining plot reserved for a BEST depot.
Shinde, as the then chief minister, had cleared the list of 51 civilians for membership of the scam-hit society, on August 24 — when code of conduct in view of 2004 assembly elections came into force in the state. During his tenure, a Letter of Intent regarding allotment of the land was issued to the society.
The HC was hearing a bunch of PILs filed by social activists Simpreet Singh, Mahendra Singh and Wategaonkar.
While they have approached the HC before the CBI registered FIR against 14 persons, Wategaokar has followed suit, seeking directions to the ED to initiate investigations into money laundering aspect of the case.
The CBI had filed FIR against 14 persons in the case in January 2011.