The Bombay High Court today directed the CBI, the investigating agency in Adarsh Housing Society scam, to look into the allegations of involvement of Union ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, and submit a progress report by next week.
The division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R G Ketkar was hearing a bunch of petitions related to the scam, including the one filed by Adarsh Society challenging the demolition order; and activist Simpreet Singh’s petition seeking monitoring of probe by the court.
Mr. Singh’s petition says CBI has filed case against a select few, but the `main players’ like Mr. Deshmukh and Mr. Shinde - both former Chief Ministers - have not been named in its FIR.
“CBI should make efforts to look into the involvement of everybody concerned, irrespective of who he is and what position he holds. Law is equal for all and should reach everyone. CBI, before filing its progress report next week, should also look into these allegations,” Justice Desai said.
Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambatta, for CBI, told the court that the agency had already taken all documents and material regarding Mr. Deshmukh and Mr. Shinde, obtained by Mr. Simpreet Singh.
“We are following it up. The agency is conducting the probe on a war-footing. A progress report would be submitted to the court next Wednesday,” Mr. Khambatta said.
Mr. Deshmukh, union minister for rural development, and Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde were Chief Ministers of Maharashtra when the files related to Adarsh were processed.
The building allegedly violates Coastal Regulation Zone norms, among others.
Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, who has also filed a petition, submitted an affidavit today alleging that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, is also involved in the scam.
According to the affidavit, two Pune-based members of Adarsh Society had, in the verification form, given the same address as the one given by Ajit Pawar’s wife in an application before a civil court in Pune in 2009.
“Ajit Pawar’s wife, Sunetra, in an application before a civil court in a property dispute had given her residential address as Jijai, Yashwant Ghatgenagar Society, University Road, Pune. The same address has been given by two members of Adarsh society - Jayshree Bhosale and Nivruti Ganpati Bhosale - in an undertaking,” the affidavit claims.
The court has asked CBI to look into this aspect too.
The bench, which today started hearing arguments of senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi against Union Environment Ministry’s demolition order, would continue the hearing tomorrow.