HC rejects Chavan's plea in Adarsh scam

HC rejects Chavan's plea in Adarsh scam

The Bombay High Court on Wednesday rejected the plea of former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, who had challenged its ruling to refuse the CBI permission to delete his name as an accused from the Adarsh scam charge-sheet.

This order means that the special CBI trial court will have to decide on taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed against Chavan, one of the 13 accused in Adarsh Housing Society scam.

Just couple of days ago, Chavan, 56, an MP from Nanded, was appointed president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). In November 2010, Chavan had to resign as chief minister in the wake of the Adarsh scam.

Justice M L Tahaliyani refused to recall the court’s previous order that disallowed the CBI from deleting his name from the charge sheet. He also did not grant an interim stay on the order. “You have got enough time during the pendency of this matter. Prayer for stay rejected,” Justice Tahaliyani said.

When questioned about this, Chavan said: “These are proceedings of the court, I cannot comment on it.” The CBI charge sheet had listed him as an accused, while the two-member Commission of Inquiry had accused him of “quid pro quo” and “political patronage”. The panel of inquiry had comprised Justice (Retired) J A Patil, a former judge of the Bombay High Court, and P Subramanian.

It may be recalled that the CBI had to petition the Bombay High Court to drop Chavan’s name as an accused as former governor K Sankaranarayanan had turned down the plea of the CBI for sanction to prosecute him. Chavan is the son of late Shankarrao Chavan, a former Union home minister and Maharashtra chief minister.

The probe panel had indicted four former chief ministers – late Vilasrao Deshmukh, Sushilkumar Shinde (former Union home minister) and Shivajirao Nilangekar-Patil (for his role as the then revenue minister) and Ashok Chavan.

The CBI had accused Chavan and 12 others of criminal conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct under the Indian Penal Code and also under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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