The CBI has sought approval from a special court to clear former Chief Minister Ashok Chavan’s name in the Adarsh Housing Scam over Governor K Sankaranarayanan’s refusal to prosecute him.
As per the provision of Prevention of Corruption Act, and legal principles established by way of Supreme Court judgments, an investigating agency cannot proceed if the authority concerned does not accord sanction.
In such a scenario, even the courts cannot force the sanctioning authority to reconsider its decision. However, sources in state political circles, well versed with the law on corruption, say Chavan could be in trouble if the trial court decides to proceed against him.
As per the landmark judgment of the Constitutional Bench of the Supreme Court in the Ramdas Nayak Vs A R Anthulay case, the special court may take cognizance of the case even when there is no sanction if it is convinced there is a case against the accused person.
However in such a scenario, the CBI would not have any role to play as the special court would be calling the shots. The CBI special court will now decide on the CBI’s application on Saturday.
Meanwhile, Pravin Wategaonkar one of the petitioners of the PIL against the Adarsh case, mentioned before the Bombay High Court the denial of sanction to Chavan and sought a date to hear the case. The CBI counsel countered Wategaonkar’s claim that the case was court-monitored.
Wategaonkar believes that the case is court monitored as several key developments in the case occurred due to the intervention of the High Court and investigation reports were also filed before the High Court. Recently, the Supreme Court held that in court monitored cases, there was no need for the CBI to seek sanction for prosecution from the authorities concerned.
The CBI, in its chargesheet, had named Chavan as one of the 13 accused linked to the scam. In its chargesheet, the agency had accused the former CM of deliberating increase in the floor space index (FSI) of Adarsh housing society in Mumbai in return for two flats to his relatives.
The CBI in the chargesheet further mentioned that Chavan also asked the society to take 40 per cent members from civilian category.