A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court here on Saturday rejected the bail pleas of six of the nine accused arrested in connection with the Adarsh housing society scam.
The court rejected the bail application of Ramanand Tiwari, former Urban Development Department (UDD) secretary, and Jairaj Phatak, former Municipal Commissioner, Mumbai.
The applications of four other accused — K.L. Gidwani, former legislator, P.V. Deshmukh, former UDD deputy secretary, Major-General (retd.) T.K. Kaul and Pradeep Vyas, former Collector of Mumbai City — were rejected for the second time.
Remarking that “the finding of the inquiry commission is not binding on the court”, special CBI judge M.V. Kulkarni rejected the pleas on the ground that “the accused persons can influence and tamper with the prosecution witnesses. Besides there is no change of circumstances for considering their bail.”
Mr. Tiwari's defence counsel Satish Maneshinde argued that there was no reservation on the plot of land. It was a residential plot and therefore no offence was committed.
Mr. Phatak's lawyer Ashok Mundargi argued there was no quid pro quo. He said Mr. Phatak's son was admitted to the society when he was not serving in the Mumbai civic body.
The prosecution opposed the bail pleas saying the accused were influential people with good connections and were likely to influence witnesses. It also said the interim report of the Adarsh Commission, which found that the land belonged to the State of Maharashtra, would not influence their case.
The investigating agency has to file a reply in the bail pleas of the two other accused R.C. Thakur and Brig. (Retd) M.M. Wanchu by April 23. Another accused Major General (Retd.) A.R. Kumar has not yet moved bail.