Stating that it was well within its powers to probe the Adarsh Housing Society scam, the Central Bureau of Investigation has informed the Bombay high court that it did not require the consent of the Maharashtra government to investigate individual cases as the state, through an order passed in 1989, had allowed the agency to exercise its power and jurisdiction in the state.
This was revealed in an affidavit filed by the CBI in reply to the applications made by the state government and Adarsh Society, challenging the agency’s probe in the case on the ground that neither the Maharashtra government nor the high court had given consent to the agency to take over the investigation.
"The Maharashtra government, through the home department on February 22, 1989, accorded consent under Section 6 of the Delhi Special Police Establishment Act to the CBI to exercise its power and jurisdiction to the whole of Maharashtra. This order is deemed to be taken as an unequivocal consent," according to the affidavit filed by senior CBI officer K Babu.
It further claimed that no separate or individual consent with regard to each case to be investigated by CBI was necessary.
"No specific consent by the Maharashtra government with regard to the Adarsh scam was warranted. Earlier, the state government extended its cooperation to the CBI. In November 2010, the Collector of Mumbai gave CBI documents pertaining to Adarsh land. Even when the CBI filed its FIR in the scam in January 2011 and informed the high court about it, the Advocate General appearing for the state did not raise any objection to the CBI probe," the affidavit pointed out.
It has also questioned the delay of over one and a half years to raise objection to the jurisdiction of CBI to investigate the Adarsh scam. It also pointed out that the Centre had extended the powers of the agency to try offences under relevant sections of the Indian Penal Code for criminal conspiracy.
"The department of personnel of the Union government had on January 7, 1975 extended the powers of CBI to try offences under Section 120 (b) of IPC for criminal conspiracy. In November 1988, the Prevention of Corruption Act was also included. The Adarsh FIR includes these sections. There are several employees of the Union ministry of defence who are accused in the scam," the affidavit stated.
Former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, an accused in the case, had also filed a petition seeking to quash the case against him on the ground that he was implicated by his political rivals and the CBI had no jurisdiction in the case.
Meanwhile, a division bench of P V Hardas and Mridula Bhatkar on Monday recused itself from hearing a bunch of petitions filed in the Adarsh case, without assigning any reason.