Saturday, November 26, 2011

Adarsh scam: Bombay HC seeks status report from Income Tax dept

Published: Wednesday, Nov 23, 2011, 20:10 IST
Place: Mumbai | Agency: PTI
The Bombay High Court today asked the Income Tax authorities to file a status report within four weeks on its probe into the finances of the persons who were allotted flats in the controversial Adarsh Housing Society.

A division bench of Justices Sharad Bobde and VK Tahilramani was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations regarding the Adarsh scam, where environmental and civic norms were allegedly flouted while granting certain concessions to the 31-storey skyrise in South Mumbai.

Praveen Vategaokar, who has filed a PIL seeking inquiry under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act into how the 100-odd members of the society financed the purchase of flats, pointed out that in six cases, the IT department closed the inquiry, without giving reasons.

The bench therefore asked the IT lawyer to produce a report on the probe, stating the reasons for closing the inquiry in these cases and status of the probe in others, within four weeks.

The six cases mentioned by Vategaokar include that of former IAS officer and MP, Shrinivas Patil.

A Mehta, the counsel of Simpreet Singh, another petitioner, demanded that the high court monitor the probe as CBI has not made any progress after taking over the case in February this year, barring filing six reports in the court.

He also stated that in a related criminal case, where CBI was probing missing of a file related to Adarsh from the Maharashtra Urban Development Department, no chargesheet has been filed yet, though three clerks of the concerned department were arrested.

Responding to the query by Justice Bobade on when the CBI is going to file the affidavit, its counsel DN Salvi said the agency would file final report/chargesheet in the missing file case within six weeks.

He said that statements of all the 43 officers who had handled the file had been recorded, and hard disks of three computers had been seized for examination and are sent to a private agency.

However, the division bench then asked why the hard disks were not sent to the Central Forensic Laboratory (CFL) at Hyderabad, Salvi replied that CFL needed at least six months to give the report.

"So as to expedite the matter, disks were sent to a private agency which is reliable," he said.

The high court, however, still asked the investigating agency to file an affidavit in this regard.

CBI has filed FIR against 13 persons, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, in the Adarsh case.
Adarsh scam: Bombay HC seeks status report from Income Tax dept

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