Prosecution of Ashok Chavan okayed by governor in Adarsh society scam

CBI gets permission after it was denied by previous governor under Congress government

GN Bureau | February 4, 2016



Maharashtra governor Vidyasagar Rao has given his sanction to prosecute state’s former chief minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh housing society scam. The governor's sanction paves the way for the arrest of Chavan, who was named among 13 accused in the CBI chargesheet filed in July 2012.

The consent given today is under section 197 of Criminal Procedure Code for offences under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of Indian Penal Code.

In 2013 when Congress was in power at the centre and in the state, the CBI had sought the same from the then governor K Sankaranarayanan. He had declined permission to prosecute Chavan.

CBI had on October 8, 2015 sought sanction of the governor under Section 197 Cr P.C. on the basis of "fresh material" and the observations of the Bombay high court in the Criminal Revision Application No.136 of 2014.

"The governor had sought the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and was advised by the Council of Ministers to grant the sanction," an official statement from Raj Bhavan said.

Chavan is now a member of parliament from Nanded district and the state Congress president. He is likely to move the supreme court and has accused the BJP of exerting pressure on CBI to get fresh sanction from BJP appointed governor and indulging in "vendetta politics".

By letter dated October, 8 2015, the Joint Director CBI, Mumbai had sought sanction for prosecution of Shri Ashok Chavan under Section 197 Cr P.C. on the basis of the additional or fresh material, namely, the report of Justice Patil Commission of Enquiry and the observations of the Hon’ble High Court of Bombay in the Criminal Revision Application No.136 of 2014.

"CBI's re-application to the Governor to prosecute me (in Adarsh scam) is illegal. I'll react in detail after consulting my legal advisors," Ashok Chavan said in his first reaction.

The Adarsh Housing Society was built in the heart of Mumbai to house war veterans and widows, but a host of politicians, ministers and bureaucrats had cornered apartments at below-market prices.

Chavan was forced to quit in November 2010 after it emerged that three of his relatives had been given apartments in the 31-storey building.

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