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Why is CBI not prosecuting beneficiaries in Adarsh scam? Plea in Bombay high court

Saturday, 9 August 2014 - 7:00am IST | Agency: dna

An additional affidavit has been filed in the Bombay high court, questioning as to why four "beneficiaries" of the flats in Adarsh housing society were not being prosecuted by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) although they had allegedly acquired flats by "fraudulent" means.

The affidavit was filed by former journalist, Ketan Tirodkar, who had earlier filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking to prosecute former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in Adarsh housing society scam.

According to the affidavit, the four beneficiaries were Devyani Uttam Khobragade, a former Indian diplomat to US, Bhagwati Sharma, mother-in-law of Ashok Chavan, Madan Sharma, Ashok Chavan 's father-in-law's brother and former union minister Suresh Prabhu.

The CBI had said in its affidavit earlier that it had sent a detailed note to the chief secretary of

Maharashtra to take action deemed fit against "such ineligible members."

Tirodkar referred to CBI's affidavit which said that Adarsh Society had allotted membership to these four persons in violation of prescribed eligibility criteria. All of them got flats at a throw away price at a posh area in South Mumbai.

The CBI had further said in its affidavit that the officers, who had helped these four in acquiring the flats, had been arraigned as accused in the main chargesheet filed in this case.

However, the petitioner questioned why "CBI had written to the chief secretary seeking action against these four beneficiaries? Why these four "heavyweights" had not been arraigned as accused when the officers who helped them in getting flats were named in the chargesheet as offenders?"

He has prayed that the CBI be directed to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) to investigate "the

conspiracy to save former chief minister Ashok Chavan" in this case. He also pleaded that the SIT should report directly to CBI director Ranjit Sinha.

A division bench of justices bench of P V Hardas and Anuja Prabhudessai on Friday asked the CBI to file its reply to the additional affidavit in two weeks.

The CBI has already sought to drop Chavan's name as an accused saying that the Governor of Maharashtra (the competent authority) had refused to grant sanction to prosecute the former chief minister for offences such as conspiracy and cheating.

In the chargesheet filed by CBI against 13 persons, Chavan has been accused of granting certain illegal

concessions to the society in return for two flats for his relatives.

Meanwhile, the same bench adjourned by two weeks another PIL, filed by activist Praveen Wategaonkar, which sought a direction to CBI to register FIR against former chief minister Sushil Kumar Shinde for allegedly helping some ineligible beneficiaries get flats in Adarsh Society.

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