Mumbai: CBI on Tuesday opposed the petition
filed by controversial Adarsh Housing Society seeking
defreezing of its bank accounts, saying that the money in them
could be part of "ill-gotten and benami" wealth.
The society had sought defreezing of its two bank
accounts with the State Bank of India to bear legal and
day-to-day expenses. The accounts, which have around Rs two
crore deposits, were frozen by CBI soon after a case was
registered by the agency in January this year.
A division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R V
More reserved the petition for orders.
"There is a possibility that the money may have been
acquired as benami. This money is linked to some offence which
will have to be investigated," additional solicitor general
Darius Khambatta, appearing for CBI said. He, however, offered
to consider the expenses if the society produced bills.
Senior counsel V A Thorat and advocate Satish
Maneshinde, appearing for the society, argued that they have
to pay approximately Rs 1.5 crore towards property tax to BMC.
"Apart from the daily expenditure towards maintenance
of the building and security, the society also has to pay
lawyers for several pending litigations," Thorat argued.
Opposing this Khambatta said that the society could
approach the state government which could extend legal aid.
"An accused has right to be represented by a lawyer. The
government would provide the same but then they cannot have
the luxury of counsel of their choice. They (society) have
been appointing the best lawyers so far," he said.
On his part, Thorat argued that the society is not an
accused in the FIR lodged by CBI. "FIR is only against 13
persons. Why should the entire society suffer?" he asked.