ED likely to register case in Adarsh case soon
Mumbai/New Delhi: Pulled up by the Bombay High Court for its handling of the Adarsh housing society case, the Enforcement Directorate may soon register a money laundering case against various individuals in connection with alleged
financial irregularities in sale of flats.
The Mumbai unit of the Directorate has initiated a probe into the 'benami' transactions and other financial deals done by various individuals of the society and has also begun to go through the FIR registered by the CBI in this case.
"A case under money laundering laws would be registered once the CBI FIR is gone through thoroughly.
"Some other facts are also being verified," sources in the ED said.
The agency, meanwhile, has also requested the Bombay High Court to allow its Special Director or the Joint Director based in Mumbai to present a status report in the case instead of the ED Director on March 12, as directed by the HC on
The charge of ED chief is currently being held as "additional responsibility" by 1979-batch IAS officer in Finance Ministry Arvind Rajan since the incumbent Arun Mathur retired on February 29.
The HC had earlier rebuked the CBI and ED for their handling of the Adarsh probe and had warned that it may have to constitute a special team to investigate the case if progress was found to be tardy by them.
The court expressed unhappiness with ED for its failure to initiate a probe against members of the scam-tainted Adarsh Housing Society for money laundering, terming it as a "serious lapse".
"It is unfortunate that ED has remained a mute spectator. There is a serious lapse on the agency's part for not probing into money laundering offence. ED has not moved an inch. It reflects a sorry state of affairs," a division bench of Justices PB Majmudar and RD Dhanuka had observed last month.
"Why are you depending on the CBI? You are a separate agency and can conduct probe independently," Justice Majmudar said when ED lawyer said that the agency had not begun its probe as CBI investigation was on.
The CBI, during the same hearing had said that it looking into 'benami' transactions in the 104-member housing society and the process was taking time because a huge quantity of documents had to be examined.
"Several of the members have purchased flats in Adarsh through benami transactions," the CBI counsel had said.
Both the agencies will submit a status report in this case to the HC on March 12.
The Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society, in which prime flats have been allegedly cornered by several politicians, officials and defence personnel though they were originally for the kin of 1999 Kargil war martyrs, is accused of flouting several norms and committing several irregularities.
The scam related to the high-rise located on prime land in Colaba in South Mumbai came to light in 2010.