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Adarsh scam: Maharashtra government to petition SC for Chavan’s prosecution

Chavan, the current state Congress chief, had to step down as the CM in November 2010 for allegedly approving additional FSI for Adarsh society in exchange for two flats for his relatives.

mumbai Updated: Apr 21, 2018 00:56 IST
Surendra P Gangan
Surendra P Gangan
Hindustan Times
Adarsh,Maharashtra,Congress
Chavan, the current state Congress chief, had to step down as the CM in November 2010 for allegedly approving additional FSI for Adarsh society in exchange for two flats for his relatives. (Hindustan Times)

The state plans to file a special leave petition in the Supreme Court (SC) against the Bombay high court’s (HC) order that set aside Maharashtra governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao’s sanction to prosecute former chief minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh society scam.

Chavan, the current state Congress chief, had to step down as the CM in November 2010 for allegedly approving additional FSI for Adarsh society in exchange for two flats for his relatives.

The legal department has approved the draft of the petition and is awaiting chief minister Devendra Fadnavis’ nod to proceed. The petition may be submitted in the SC next week, according to an official from the law and judiciary department.

Chavan said, “Ahead of the elections, this is a political move to harass me. As the honourable high court has already said there is no new element added while demanding the prosecution, I think the state leadership is acting on the directives from their bosses in Delhi.”

Meanwhile, CBI has already filed a petition in the Supreme Court, opposing Chavan’s plea demanding the FIR against him be quashed. “The HC had set aside the sanction. The reversal was on the basis of a report by a probe commission headed by retired judge JA Patil. While the government said the Patil commission had indicted Chavan, the court said a report under the Commission of Inquiry Act, 1952 had no evidentiary value in civil or criminal courts. It was only recommendatory in nature. We are now challenging this in the Supreme Court. The draft for the SLP has been finalised and is expected to be filed in the next few days,” said an official, on the condition that he would not be named.

In 2013, Rao’s predecessor K Sankaranarayanan refused to allow Chavan’s prosecution. After the BJP government came to power in the state in 2014, Rao became the governor. In February 2016, Rao sanctioned Chavan’s prosecution. In its order on December 22 last year, the HC quashed the nod, on the grounds that CBI failed to give fresh evidence and the presented material could not be converted into credible evidence against Chavan.

Another official said, “The draft of the SLP has been approved by the law and judiciary department after which the general administration department has sent it to the chief secretary for further process.”

According to a BJP functionary, the SLP is a political move to keep the Congress and its state chief under pressure in the run-up to the general elections likely to be held late this year or early next year.

First Published: Apr 21, 2018 00:56 IST