The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) that gave a clean chit to former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, cleared another former CM, Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar, in the same case on Thursday.
In an affidavit filed before the Bombay high court, the CBI said it had found no material or evidence to suggest any criminal misconduct on the part of Patil-Nilangekar in the scam.
The affidavit filed by S S Giri, CBI investigating officer, reads: "The role of Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar and others in relation to Adarsh has already been looked into. The material unearthed did not warrant action against them, and therefore, they have not been included as accused in the charge sheet."
The affidavit was in reply to an application filed by social activist Pravin Wategaonkar seeking inclusion of Patil-Nilangekar as an accused in the case.
Wategaonkar has alleged that Patil-Nilangekar, during his tenure as revenue minister, had granted certain approvals to Adarsh Society illegally, and in return, his son-in-law was allotted a flat in Adarsh.
The CBI has said that in its earlier investigation with regard to the role of Patil- Nilangekar as revenue minister, it "did not find any prosecutable evidence against him to arraign him as an accused". Also, there is no material on hand to suggest that Nilangekar extended undue favours to the society and that his son-in-law was allotted a flat as quid pro quo, the affidavit says.
The investigating agency also said that while taking government-level decisions, there were bound to be recommendations and queries at various levels. "In the process, simple recommendations made at various levels by various officers cannot be deemed as acts amounting to criminal misconduct."
The affidavit also says that the probe into benami transactions was still in progress. "Further investigations with regard to financial transactions involving KL Gidwani (former MLA and promoter of Adarsh) and Arun Dhawle, son-in-law of Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar, while acquiring flats and the flow of funds to the account of the society are still in progress."
The division of bench of justices PV Hardas and Ajey Gadkari will hear the PIL and related petitions after two weeks.