The Bombay high court on Friday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation to file its reply by August 29 on the investigations it carried out against Union ministers Vilasrao Deshmukh and Sushilkumar Shinde in the multi-crore Adarsh scam case.
A division bench of Justices S A Bobade and Mridula Bhatkar was hearing the PIL filed earlier this week by activist Praveen Wategaonkar, seeking a court direction to CBI to state details of the probe it has undertaken against the ministers. The activist had earlier filed a PIL in the Adarsh case.
The agency had earlier recorded the statements of Shinde and Deshmukh -- both former chief ministers of Maharashtra -- regarding the scam. However, the chargesheet filed by CBI on July 4 against 13 accused, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan, does not mention names of the duo.
The court suggested that Wategaonkar could file the same application before the special CBI court as it has the power to direct the agency to include further names as accused in the case.
To this, Wategaonkar said, "The CBI would first have to clear its stand on whether it would be filing a supplementary chargesheet in the Adarsh scam. And if yes, who would be added as accused".
Shekhar Naphade, counsel for Adarsh society, argued that the court should first decide on the applications, filed separately by the society and Maharashtra government, challenging the CBI probe.
The bench said it would hear the applications regarding whether the CBI has jurisdiction to probe the scam on August 29.
Additional Solicitor General Kevic Setalwad, meanwhile, submitted an application on behalf of the Enforcement Directorate probing the money laundering aspect in Adarsh case, seeking extension of the earlier deadline set by the high court.
"The ED was earlier directed by the high court to take action in the scam within four weeks after the chargesheet is filed by CBI. ED has already started taking action but further time is required," Setalvad told the court.
The court will consider the application on August 29.