The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) appealed on Monday to Maharashtra Governor K. Sankaranarayanan to reconsider his decision to deny the Central Bureau of Investigation permission to act against the former Chief Minister, Ashok Chavan, in the Adarsh society scam.
“The CBI report has found him guilty and it was repeated in the recently-released report of the judicial commission set up to probe the Adarsh society scam,” said the letter sent by Vinod Tawade, leader of the Opposition in the State council. According to reports, Mr. Sankaranarayanan refused permission to prosecute Mr. Chavan when the CBI sought his consent.
The commission’s report mentioned a ‘quid pro quo’ in Mr. Chavan granting extra Floor Space Index (FSI) to the society and three flats being given to his relatives. Mr. Chavan, who had to resign in the wake of the Adarsh scam, has come in for the harshest criticism in the report.
The report observed that Mr Chavan, as the Chief Minister, granted the building 15 per cent extra FSI by excluding a recreation ground from the plot. Earlier, as Revenue Minister, he and the late Vilasrao Deshmukh had cleared the reduction of an adjoining road’s width to increase the space available to Adarsh Society, the report said.
The BJP told the Governor that refusing permission to the CBI will disappoint the people of Maharashtra. “We request you to reconsider your decision and to allow the CBI to prosecute Mr. Chavan,” the letter said.
PIL in High Court
Within days of the Maharashtra Cabinet rejecting the two-member judicial panel’s report on the Adarsh scam, a public interest litigation (PIL) petition in the Bombay High Court has sought a direction to the CBI to prosecute Ministers named in the report.
“CBI be directed to take steps to prosecute the State Cabinet in the ongoing process of investigations into the Adarsh scam; for shielding the accused in the system; at the cost of Rs. 7 crore spent from treasury,” said the PIL filed by Ketan Tirodkar.
It also wanted a direction to the CBI to take cognizance of the findings of the panel to the extent it helps in its investigations.
The two-member judicial commission headed by retired Justice J.A. Patil had submitted its report to the State government in April this year. The government did not table the entire report before the legislature till the Bharatiya Janata Party knocked on the doors of the Bombay High Court.
Thereafter, the government told the court it would table the report in the winter session which ended recently. But before tabling it, the Cabinet said it did not accept the second part of the report which held several bureaucrats and politicians guilty of extending favours to the tainted society.
The criminal petition filed on December 23 accused the State government of wasting public money. It had spent Rs. 7 crore on the commission and later rejected its report.