Why no arrests in Adarsh scam, HC asks CBI
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Last Updated: Tuesday, March 13, 2012, 00:44
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 accused.

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 as accused.

"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 case.


First Published: Monday, March 12, 2012, 19:18

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