Mumbai: Bombay High Court on Monday said the Centre, Maharashtra government, CBI, and Adarsh Society may file their responses to a plea seeking that Union Home Minister Sushilkumar Shinde be added as an accused in the housing society scam case.
According to the application filed by social activist Pravin Wategaonkar, Sushilkumar Shinde, who had handled documents of the controversial Adarsh Housing Society during his tenure as Maharashtra chief minister, owns a benami flat in the plush 31-storey highrise in south Mumbai.
The housing society has been embroiled in the scam for alleged irregularities.
A division bench of Justices PV Hardas and PN Deshmukh today asked Wategaonkar to serve a copy of his application to respondents (Union and state governments, CBI and Adarsh Society).
"The respondents may file their reply affidavits, if they find it necessary, by Sept. 19," the court said.
The application was filed by Wategaonkar as part of his public interest litigation seeking a probe by Enforcement Directorate and Income Tax departments into alleged money laundering.
According to the plea, Shinde had suggested that Major N Khankhoje be included as a member of Adarsh Society, which was corroborated in the deposition of former MLC and member of the Society, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani (now deceased) before the inquiry commission.
"Captain Kiran Khankhoje, son of the late major, also deposed before the commission and said that when his father applied for the Society`s membership, he was to make all the payments. However, his father was not found financially independent and was held ineligible for membership," the application stated.
According to Wategaonkar, despite being found ineligible,
Shinde had asked the housing society to include the senior Khankhoje as its member.
The application added that Kiran further told the commission that his father`s will did not mention anything about the flat in the housing society.
Wategaonkar has sought a probe by ED to trace the money trail with respect to payments made by/on behalf of Khankhoje towards purchase of the flat.
"That would reveal the true ownership of the flat in the housing society," the application had stated.