ibnlive » India

Jul 10, 2012 at 03:56pm IST

Court questions CBI's jurisdiction in Adarsh case

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is facing a possible legal hurdle in the Adarsh Housing Society case. The CBI court on Tuesday questioned the investigative agency's counsel about the jurisdiction in Adarsh case after the Maharashtra government challenged the jurisdiction of the CBI to investigate Adarsh case.

The CBI informed the court that the Bombay High Court has posted the matter of jurisdiction for July 18. The chargesheet filed by the CBI in the case has been posted for consideration on July 24.

Only after the jurisdiction matter is heard and decided that the court will consider the chargesheet or take it on record.

The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on July 4 filed its first chargesheet in the Adarsh Housing Society scam in which former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan and 13 other people including several senior bureaucrats and retired military officers have been chargesheeted. According to CBI sources, the investigating agency is probing as many as 24 benami flats.

The CBI has charged the former chief minister with facilitating the inclusion of 40 per cent flats for the civilians when he was the revenue minister of Maharashtra. The chargesheet further says that Chavan as a quid pro quo got three flats for his wife's relatives.

Later, as the Chief Minister of the state, Chavan conceded to Adarsh 15 per cent land for recreation.

After 18 months of investigation and two stinging rebukes from the Bombay High Court, the CBI filed its first chargesheet in a scam that saw collusion at the highest levels of bureaucracy, army and politics.

The CBI, however, does not mention the extent of knowledge two other former chief ministers Vilas Rao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde would have had of the conspiracy.

While no critical reference has been made to Deshmukh and Shinde, sources say the probe into benami flats is still under way. There are as many as 24 flats identified as benami, and that could find mention in a supplementary chargesheet to be filed as early as December 2012.

The CBI claims that with 150 witnesses and evidentiary documents, it has a water tight case.