Why no action against officials in Adarsh scam: Court

Last Updated: Mon, Mar 12, 2012 11:54 hrs

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court Monday rapped the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for not initiating action against government officials involved in the Adarsh housing society scam.

"When there is preliminary evidence against certain government officers, why haven't you written to the concerned departments seeking their removal," asked the division bench of Justice P.B. Majmudar and Justice D.R. Dhanuka.

"Take action against everyone who is found guilty," the bench said.

The CBI and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) Monday submitted their status reports on the scam which involves a prime plot in south Mumbai's Colaba locality on which a 31-storey building was constructed by the Adarsh society.

A special director of the ED was also present in the court as directed by the court last week.

The bench asked the CBI, the ED and the income tax department to have a high level meeting to share information and coordinate in the investigation.

The court Feb 28 castigated the ED for "serious lapse" in failing to initiate investigations against some Adarsh society members allegedly involved in money-laundering.

The scam claimed the job of former chief minister Ashok Chavan after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner flats in the building. The flats were originally meant for widows and heroes of the Kargil conflict.

Another former chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh has also been accused of lapses in allotting flats meant for the war veterans.

The CBI has filed a first information report against 15 people in the case. The investigative agency has sought two weeks' time to complete investigations and file a charge sheet.

The probe agency, last Tuesday, arrested four people including former Maharashtra Congress legislator Kanhaiyalal V. Gidwani, his son, a tax consultant, and a lawyer of the probe agency, in a graft case linked to the scam investigation. All accused are in CBI custody till March 16.

Gidwani is accused of paying a sum of Rs.12.50 million to financial consultant J.K. Jagiasi to pay up and influence CBI officials investigating the Adarsh housing society case.

The court asked the CBI to give information on government employees involved in the scam to the Maharashtra chief secretary. The matter would next be heard March 22. 

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