2:31 pm - Thursday November 5, 2015

Bombay High Court dismisses Ashok Chavan’s plea to drop his name from Adarsh case

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In a blow to former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday dismissed his appeal to recall an earlier order refusing to delete his name from the multi-crore Adarsh Housing Society scam case. Justice ML Tahaliyani refused to grant any relief to the senior Congress leader.

Chavan had filed a petition in December last year seeking to recall an order passed by Justice Tahaliyani refusing CBI the permission to drop his name from the Adarsh case.

The order refusing to recall his earlier ruling implies that Chavan will now face prosecution under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly misusing his official position to grant favours to the Adarsh society. Chavan had earlier pleaded that certain observations in the order were on the points which had not been argued and he had not got the opportunity to address these.

The CBI had first approached the trial court seeking to drop Chavan’s name as an accused on the ground that the Governor had refused to sanction his prosecution. As the CBI court rejected it, the agency moved the HC.

However, Justice Tahaliyani had dismissed CBI’s application last November after observing that the Governor had refused sanction for prosecution for conspiracy charge under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but he can still be prosecuted under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The charge sheet not only alleges conspiracy but also refers to Chavan’s individual acts when he was the Revenue Minister and later the Chief Minister, the judge said.

“…Charges levelled against Chavan for the alleged individual acts cannot go away only because the Governor has refused to grant sanction for prosecuting him for conspiracy and cheating,” Justice Tahaliyani had said. According to CBI, Chavan suggested inclusion of civilian members in the Adarsh society — meant only for defence personnel — to get flats for his own relatives.

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