Mumbai: Rapping the CBI for its failure to arrest "high-ranking politicians" in the Adarsh Housing Society scam despite having evidence, the Bombay High Court on Monday directed the investigating agency to act "without fear or favour".
"Take action without fear or favour. We agree that some of the accused persons are high-ranking politicians but by initiating action CBI should send out a message that any
wrongdoer, irrespective of who he is, will be punished," said Justice PB Majmudar of the division bench, also comprising Justice RD Dhanuka.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, Congress
leader KL Gidwani, top-ranking retired army officers Lt
General PK Rampal, Major Generals AR Kumar and TK Kaul,
retired brigadiers RC Sharma and MM Wanchoo are among the
The FIR also names Subash Lala, the then principal
secretary to the chief minister, former principal secretary of
the Urban Development Department Ramanand Tiwari, former
municipal commissioner and IAS officer Jairaj Phatak and
fellow IAS colleague and former Mumbai collector Pradeep Vyas
"Why have you (CBI) not arrested any of the accused yet?
Are you feeling shy or are you just protecting the accused? If
prima facie case is made out against anyone then action should
be taken irrespective of who that person is. Delay in such
cases can be dangerous," the bench said.
The court, after going through the progress report
submitted by CBI, asked as to why no action had been taken in
the form of arrest when the agency had found sufficient
material against the accused.
The court rejected the contention of CBI counsels K
Sudhakar and Ejaz Khan that arrests had been delayed as the
investigation was in the last stages and a charge sheet would
be filed in two months.
"Filing of charge sheet should not stop you (CBI) from
arresting the accused. In several cases, CBI arrests the
accused first and then files charge sheet. Why are you making
an exception in this case," Justice Majmudar asked.
The court granted the plea of CBI lawyers seeking eight
weeks time to file the charge sheet. The CBI counsels said
complicity of two more persons emerged during the probe and
their names would be included as accused in the charge sheet.
The court was hearing a batch of PILs filed by social
activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wategaonkar seeking
monitoring of the probe by the high court and invoking
provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the