Conduct the investigation impartially and treat everybody equally, the Bombay high court on Wednesday told the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), which is looking into the alleged scam involving Adarsh Housing Society at Cuffe Parade.
“We will see to it that the probe is fair and impartial and that everybody is treated equally,” the division bench comprising justice Ranjana Desai and justice RG Ketkar said, also clarifying that they have not asked the central agency to go after any particular person (such as Union ministers and former Maharashtra chief ministers, Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde).
“An impression has been created that we have directed the CBI to go after some particular persons. We don’t intend to direct the investigating officer to conduct probe in a particular manner or direction,” the bench said.
“What we are concerned with is seeing that the CBI does its job properly and the probe is conducted impartially,” the court told the CBI counsel, DN Salvi. “Don’t hesitate [to take action] if you find somebody guilty and don’t book if you don’t find anything against somebody,” the judges said.
The court made these observations while hearing petitions that had, among other things, sought a CBI probe into the Adarsh scam, which allegedly involves retired defence officials, bureaucrats and many politicians, including former chief ministers Ashok Chavan and Sushilkumar Shinde.
As directed by the court earlier, the CBI on Wednesday submitted a progress report of the probe. On January 29, the CBI registered a case against 13 persons, including Ashok Chavan and retired army officials, bureaucrats and state officials on charges of criminal conspiracy, fraud and misuse of official powers.
The agency has also slapped provisions of Benami Transaction (Prohibition) Act against the accused.
The court is likely to continue hearing the petitions on Thursday.