Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today directed the CBI probing Adarsh Housing Society scam to look into allegations of involvement of Union ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde, observing Law is “equal” for all and should “reach everyone.”
The High Court also directed CBI to submit a progress report by next week after noting that the investigating agency should make efforts to look into the involvement of everybody concerned, irrespective of who he is and what position he holds.
Deshmukh, Union Minister for Rural Development and Shinde, Union Power Minister, were Chief Ministers of Maharashtra when the files related to the high-rise Adarsh building in upscale Colaba were processed.
The directions were given by a division bench of Justices Ranjana Desai and R.G Ketkar while hearing a bunch of petitions related to the scam, including the one filed by Adarsh Society challenging the demolition order and activist Simpreet Singh’s petition seeking monitoring of the probe by the court.
Singh’s petition says CBI has filed cases against a select few, but the ‘main players’ like Deshmukh and Shinde -- both former Chief Ministers (of Maharashtra) -- have not been named in its FIR.
“CBI should make efforts to look into the involvement of everybody concerned, irrespective of who he is and what position he holds. Law is equal for all and should reach everyone. CBI, before filing its progress report next week, should also look into these allegations,” Justice Desai said.
Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambatta, appearing for CBI, told the court that the agency had already taken all documents and material regarding Deshmukh and Shinde, obtained by Simpreet Singh.
“We are following it up. The agency is conducting the probe on a war-footing. A progress report would be submitted to the court next Wednesday,” Khambatta said.
The Adarsh building allegedly violates Coastal Regulation Zone norms, among other procedures.
Former journalist Ketan Tirodkar, who has also filed a petition, submitted an affidavit today alleging that Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister, Ajit Pawar, is also involved in Adarsh scam.
According to the affidavit, two Pune-based members of Adarsh Society had, in the verification form, given the same address as the one given by NCP leader Ajit Pawar’s wife in an application before a civil court in Pune in 2009.
“Ajit Pawar’s wife, Sunetra, in an application before a civil court in a property dispute had given her residential address as Jijai, Yashwant Ghatgenagar Society, University Road, Pune. The same address has been given by two members of Adarsh society - Jayshree Bhosale and Nivruti Ganpati Bhosale - in an undertaking,” the affidavit claims.
The court has asked CBI to look into this aspect too. The bench, which today started hearing arguments of senior counsel Mukul Rohatgi against Union Environment Ministry’s demolition order, would continue the hearing tomorrow.