Ashok Chavan says CBI’s re-application to governor for prosecuting him is illegal.
The Congress party is unhappy with the Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao’s decision to give nod for prosecuting former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. The party alleged that BJP is trying to settle political scores by seeking governor’s approval for prosecuting Chavan. Since BJP has a weak political base in Maharashtra the party is keen to strengthen itself ahead of the next assembly polls. They are also trying to check the growth of Congress in Maharashtra which is all set for a revival after winning the panchayat and civic body elections in the state.
Chavan will be prosecuted under section 197 of Cr PC, for offences under Section 120-B and 420 of the IPC. The Governor had sought the aid and advice of the state council of ministers and he was subsequently advised by it to grant the sanction. The CBI had sought sanction for Chavan’s prosecution under Section 197 of the CrPC on the basis of the report of Justice Patil Commission of Enquiry and the observations of the Bombay High Court.
Chavan, who is campaigning for the party candidate in the Palghar bypoll election said that the Fadnavis government is involved in a political vendetta to malign his career. Defending himself he said, ”I won’t resign from the post of president of Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC). CBI’s re-application to governor to prosecute me is totally illegal. We will seek the legal advice and proceed further.”
Krishna Hegde former Congress MLA from Vile Parle said, “When the then governor had earlier rejected the application why CBI has filed the application once again? It’s a political vendetta. BJP is using the government machinery for selfish motives. Earlier they had sent CBI to raid Virbhadra Singh’s residence on the day of his daughter’s wedding which is unjustified.”
“We have full faith in judiciary and Ashok bhau will come out clean. The whole matter was earlier debated in the Maharashtra assembly when the same people were in the opposition,” he added.
In December 2013, the then Governor K Sankaranarayanan had refused sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan in the Adarsh housing scam, leaving the agency with no choice but to close the case against him. The Maharashtra Cabinet had recently recommended to the Governor that he should grant sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan in the case.
Mr. Chavan was among the 13 people chargesheeted by the CBI in the Adarsh scam in July 2012. Though other accused, including top IAS officers and office bearers of Adarsh Housing Society, a 30 storey high-rise in Colaba, were arrested, Mr Chavan’s prosecution requires permission from the Governor.
Chavan was forced to quit in November 2010 after it emerged that three of his relatives had been given apartments in the 30-storey building.