The Bombay High Court on Friday set aside governor’s sanction to prosecute former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan in Adarsh Scam.
The senior congress leader had filed a petition terming governor C Vidyasagar Rao’s order of 2016 as “arbitrary, illegal and unjust.” Chavan had alleged that it was passed without “proper application of mind” and with “malafide intentions”.
According to CBI, Chavan approved additional floor space index for Adarsh society in return flats for his kins. The ex-CM was also charged with unlawfully approving, as the then revenue minister, the sanction of 40 per cent of the flats to civilians in posh Colaba.
The main ground for the court’s decision was that the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) failed to present any fresh evidence against Chavan while seeking the sanction from the Governor to prosecute him.
In February 2016, Governor Rao had granted sanction to prosecute Chavan on various charges including criminal conspiracy, cheating and misuse of powers, in the Adarsh Society scam.
Incidentally, the previous governor K. Sankaranarayanan had declined the sanction in 2013, but after three years it was granted by Rao, which was challenged by Chavan.
Following the revelations in the scam and its political fallout with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party-Shiv Sena — which is now ruling the state — Chavan had resigned as Chief Minister in November 2010.