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CBI chargesheets Chavan in 'watertight' Adarsh case

Jul 04, 2012 07:02 PM IST Politics Politics

Mumbai: The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Wednesday filed its first chargesheet in the Adarsh Housing Society scam, charging 13 people, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, bureaucrats and military officers.

According to CBI sources, the investigating agency is probing as many as 24 benami flats.

The CBI has charged the former chief minister with facilitating the inclusion of 40 per cent flats for the civilians when he was the revenue minister of Maharashtra. The chargesheet further says that Chavan as a quid pro quo got three flats for his wife's relatives.

Later, as the Chief Minister of the state, Chavan conceded to Adarsh 15 per cent land for recreation.

After 18 months of investigation and two stinging rebukes from the Bombay High Court, the CBI filed its first chargesheet in a scam that saw collusion at the highest levels of bureaucracy, army and politics.

The CBI, however, does not mention the extent of knowledge two other former chief ministers Vilas Rao Deshmukh and Sushil Kumar Shinde would have had of the conspiracy.

While no critical reference has been made to Deshmukh and Shinde, sources say the probe into benami flats is still under way. There are as many as 24 flats identified as benami, and that could find mention in a supplementary chargesheet to be filed as early as December 2012.

The CBI claims that with 150 witnesses and evidentiary documents, it has a water tight case.

Ironically, all this happened on a day when the state government challenged the very jurisdiction of the CBI to investigate Adarsh. The Court will hear the matter in a fortnight.