Mumbai, April 30 (IANS) The Enforcement Directorate Monday said it has registered a money laundering case against 14 accused, including former Maharashtra chief minister Ashok Chavan, in Mumbai’s Adarsh housing society scam.
“There are sufficient evidences against the 14 accused in the Adarsh case. On the basis of these evidences, the ED has registered a case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA),” ED’s counsel Sandeep Shinde told IANS.
The matter came up in the Bombay High Court as the division bench of Justice Justice S.A. Bobde and Justice Mridula Bhatkar was hearing petitions filed by social activists Pravin Wategaonkar and Simpreet Singh seeking direction to the ED to register a case against the accused.
The court, however, slammed the ED for not making a “conclusive statement on the PMLA”.
“In December last year the court had asked the ED to make a statement on applicability on provisions of the PMLA. But even today the agency is not able to make a conclusive statement on the PMLA,” the bench observed.
The ED said that it was waiting for the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to complete its investigation and submit its charge sheet. After the CBI’s charge sheet, the ED will take a decision on the registration of the first information report and arrest of accused.
The CBI informed the court that it would complete its probe by June 15 and file its charge sheet thereafter. The court adjourned the matter till June 18.
The Adarsh scam involves a prime plot in south Mumbai’s Colaba on which a 31-storey building was constructed by the society.
Nine of the 14 accused in the case have been arrested and are under judicial custody. On April 21, a CBI special court rejected the bail applications of six accused in the case arrested in March and April.
Bail of the other three officials was rejected April 4.
On April 14, an interim report by the two-member commission was tabled before the Maharashtra assembly. The interim report by the two-member judicial commission comprising former judge J.A. Patil and former state chief secretary P. Subrahmanyam, held that the land belonged to the state government.
Many top army officials and politicians, including Chavan, are alleged to have facilitated clearances for the building and got flats in it as quid pro quo.