MUMBAI (TIP): The ghost of the 2010 Adarsh Housing Society scam on February 4 came back to haunt former CM Ashok Chavan as Maharashtra Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao granted sanction to the CBI to prosecute him, spelling trouble for the Congress MP from Nanded.
Raj Bhavan sources said Rao gave his consent on Thursday to prosecute Chavan for offences under Section 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code.
“By letter dated Octber 8, 2015, the Joint Director CBI, Mumbai had sought sanction for prosecution of Ashok Chavan under Section 197 Cr.PC on the basis of the additional or fresh material, namely, the report of the Justice Patil Commission of Enquiry and the observations of the Bombay High Court in the Criminal Revision Application No.136 of 2014,” a statement from Raj Bhavan said, adding, “The Governor sought the aid and advice of the Council of Ministers and was advised by the Council of Ministers to grant the sanction.”
However, it cited no grounds for the sanction.
Reacting to the development, Mr. Chavan questioned the legality of the CBI seeking sanction from the Governor for the second time.
In 2013, the agency had moved a similar request under the same provisions and then Governor K. Sankaranarayanan had refused sanction.
While rejecting the CBI request, Sankaranarayanan had stated: “Having considered the matter from all angles, the entire papers and documents, I do not find that even a prima facie case is made out and hence the request of the CBI for sanction to prosecute under Section 197 of the Cr.PC is liable to be rejected and, therefore, I am hereby constrained to refuse the same.”
Alleging that the CBI’s re-application for sanction was done under BJP pressure to target Congress leaders, Mr. Chavan said: “The previous Governor had held legal consultations before refusing to sanction my prosecution. It is illegal on the part of the CBI to seek sanction once again from the new Governor. There is no such provision. I will fight this in court.”
Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis refuted the charge of “vendetta politics” by the BJP. He said the Governor had consulted State Advocate General Srihari Aney and he had opined that permission could be given to prosecute Chavan in the light of new facts in the case.