Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday reserved its orders on the writ petition filed by former chief minister Ashok Chavan, who has challenged the sanction to prosecute him in the Adarsh Society scam. The division bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Sadhana Jadhav closed the petition for orders after hearing it on a day-to-day basis for more than a week.
The former CM Chavan has challenged the sanction of Governor Vidyasagar Rao on the ground that it is ‘politically biased and motivated.’ The Governor had given his nod to prosecute Chavan under the charges of criminal conspiracy and forgery. In his petition, Chavan has contended that the earlier Governor – K Sankaranarayanan, had refused to grant the sanction for his prosecution.
Senior counsel Amit Desai who appeared for Chavan, had argued that the CBI’s claims of change in circumstances (while obtaining sacntion) are just an ‘eyewash’ since there were changes in ‘political circumstances.’ He had also argued that this sanction was a ‘political vendetta’ as the CBI chose to review earlier Governor’s orders only after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power.
On the other hand, the Maharashtra government through Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Anil Singh refuted Chavan’s allegations against Governor Rao. Also, the CBI through their special counsel Hiten Venegaonkar claimed that it had ‘fresh material’ and that was enough to prove Chavan’s complicity in Adarsh Scam.
However, on Wednesday, Venegaonkar had accepted that the CBI’s stand of not reviewing the earlier Governor’s order was ‘bad in law’ and was ‘wrong.’ The judges have now closed the petition for orders and are likely to pronounce the verdict post Diwali vacations. Meanwhile, the judges have asked the CBI to ensure that the trial in the lower court is not proceeded until they pronounce the orders.
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