In a relief to former Maharashtra chief minister Shivajirao Patil-Nilangekar, the Central Bureau of Investigation on Thursday gave him a clean chit in the Adarsh Housing Society scam.
The CBI, in an affidavit filed before the Bombay high court, has said that the agency has already looked into the role of Patil-Nilangekar but found no material or evidence to suggest any criminal misconduct on his part.
"The role of Shivajirao Patil Nilangekar and others in relation to Adarsh has already been looked into. The material unearthed during the course of investigation did not warrant action against them (Nilangekar and others) and, therefore, they are not included as accused in the charge-sheet," the CBI affidavit said.
The affidavit was filed in reply to an application of social activist Pravin Wategaonkar, seeking that Patil-Nilangekar be arraigned as an accused in the case.
Wategaonkar, who filed the application in the course of his Public Interest Litigation on the Adarsh probe, alleged that Patil-Nilangekar, during his tenure as revenue minister, granted certain approvals to Adarsh Society illegally.
In return, his son-in-law was allotted a flat in Adarsh, the application claimed.
The CBI, in its affidavit, said that the probe into benami transactions was still in progress.
"Further investigations with regard to financial transactions involving K L Gidwani (former MLA and promoter of Adarsh) and Arun Dhawle, son-in-law of Shivajirao Patil
Nilangekar, while acquiring flats and the flow of funds to the account of the society are still in progress," stated the affidavit filed by CBI’s Investigating Officer S S Giri.
"With regard to the role of Nilangekar as revenue minister, the investigation carried out by the CBI earlier did not find any prosecutable evidence against him to arraign him as an accused," the affidavit said.
There is no material on hand to suggest that Nilangekar extended undue favours to the society and that his son-in-law was allotted the flat as quid pro quo, it added.
"Without prejudice, it is submitted that while taking any decision at the level of government, there would be recommendations and queries at various levels before final decisions are taken by the competent authority," the agency said.
"In the process, simple recommendations made at various levels by various officers cannot be deemed as acts amounting to criminal misconduct," it added.
Patil-Nilangekar was the revenue minister when Adarsh Society -- accused of several violations of civic and environmental laws -- was allotted land in south Mumbai in 2004