Ashok Chavan not named by CBI in Adarsh Housing Society benami case
New Delhi: CBI on Thursday did not name former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the benami property related to purchase of flat in the Adarsh Housing Society in Mumbai.
CBI filed a supplementary chargesheet against 23 financiers, including Sancheti Group and 22 co-conspirators which included members of the housing society.
CBI was looking into the nexus and quid pro quo angles in 33 benami properties out of the 103 flats in Adarsh society and the matter was being probed under the Benami Transactions Prohibition Act.
A Maharashtra government inquiry panel had said 22 cases of purchase of flats were found to be benami.
The agency did not name Chavan, who had to resign as Chief Minister after the scam relating to the housing society came light, contending there was no money trail linking him to the purchase of the flats and there was no evidence to prove his connivance.
It was alleged that two of Chavan`s relatives were given flats in Adarsh for favours granted to the society.
CBI`s decision to clear his name for lack of evidence in the probe into benami properties will come as a relief to the beleaguered leader who is contesting from Nanded Lok Sabha seat.
Among the co-conspirators were Major General (retd) T K Kaul. The case against K L Gidwani and Lt Col Amarjit Singh, named as accused, was abated as both of them died.
CBI probed the role of some other politicians and businessman during its investigations. The agency has already chargesheeted Chavan and 22 others in connection with the alleged irregularities committed in building the housing society.
CBI had accused Chavan of approving additional floor space index for Adarsh Society in return for two flats for his relatives.
He was also charged with illegally approving, as the then Revenue Minister, allotment of 40 per cent of the flats to civilians when the Society was allegedly meant only for Kargil war widows and defence personnel.
However, the agency has now sought to drop the name of the former Chief Minister from the charge sheet after CBI failed to secure a sanction of prosecution from Maharashtra Governor K Sankaranaryanan.
Meanwhile, CBI sources in Mumbai said the charge sheet named Abhay Sancheti who was found to be owning nine `benami` flats (flats ostensibly owned by somebody else as his proxy). Abhay Sancheti is the brother of BJP leader Ajay Sancheti.
Gidwani was found to be owning seven benami flats while Kaul owned two benami flats, sources said. The nine flats allegedly owned by Abhay Sancheti were funded by San Finance, of which he is a director, CBI sources said.
San Finance had given loans to nine flat owners who were "men of no means" and they could not explain the source of funds with which they bought the flats, sources said. One of the flats is in the name of a man who worked as a driver with Sancheti`s firm, sources added.
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