Mumbai, Mar 12: The Bombay High Court on Monday came down heavily on the CBI for its failure to arrest any of the accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam despite having evidence and directed it to take action without “fear or favour.”
“Why have you (CBI) not arrested any of the accused yet? Are you feeling shy or are you just protecting the accused? If prima facie case is made out against anyone then action should be taken irrespective of who that person is. Delay in such cases can be dangerous,” a division bench of Justices P.B. Majmudar and R.D. Dhanuka said.
The court, after going through the progress report submitted by the CBI, asked why no action had been taken in the form of arrest when the agency had found sufficient material against the accused.
“Take action without fear or favour. We agree that some of the accused persons are high-ranking politicians but by initiating action CBI should send out a message that any wrongdoer, irrespective of who he is, will be punished,” Justice Majmudar said.
The court did not agree with the plea of CBI counsels K Sudhakar and Ejaz Khan that arrests had not been made as the investigation was at its fag end and a charge sheet would be filed in two months.
“Filing of charge sheet should not stop you (CBI) from arresting the accused. In several cases, CBI arrests the accused first and then files charge sheet. Why are you making an exception in this case?” Justice Majmudar asked.
The CBI counsels said the FIR in the case was filed on January 29 and 14 persons, including former chief minister Ashok Chavan were named as accused. They said complicity of two more persons had surfaced during the investigations and the charge sheet would include these too as accused.
The court was hearing a batch of public interest litigations filed by social activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wategaonkar seeking monitoring of the probe by the High Court and invoking provisions of Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) in the case.
The bench while adjourning the matter till March 22 warned the probe agency that it would summon CBI Director if “concrete steps” were not taken.
“We are giving you (CBI) last chance. If you don't take concrete steps we will summon the CBI Director from Delhi.”