Mumbai, Jan 18 (PTI) Pulling up the CBI for the tardypace of its probe in the Adarsh Society scam, the Bombay HighCourt today directed the investigating agency to expeditiouslyconclude the investigation and take a final decision onregistration of an FIR within two weeks.
The court also ordered issuing of summons to theregional Joint Director of CBI to appear before it when thecourt next hears the case after two weeks.
"It has been more than two months since CBI has beenconducting a preliminary inquiry into the case. Why have you(CBI) not registered FIR as yet?" a division bench ofjustices B H Marlapalle and U D Salvi asked.
The court was hearing a petition filed by activistSimpreet Singh which said since both CBI and the state AntiCorruption Bureau (ACB) were involved in the probe, it maycreate issues of jurisdiction "which might hamper the probe".
According to the petition, with three former chiefministers allegedly involved in the scam, the ACB may be underpressure not to effectively probe the case and hence theentire investigation should be handed over to CBI.
"We fail to understand why there is a delay in lodgingof FIR. Media reports have virtually carried CBI''s draft FIRand revealed all the accused''s names," Justice Marlapallesaid.
Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambata,appearing for CBI, sought four weeks to finish the probe,saying, "It is a sensitive case involving big names. Theagency does not want to take any hasty decision."
The 31-storey Society in posh Colaba, south Mumbai,was allegedly built on a plot reserved for Kargil martyrs andflats were alloted to kin of bureaucrats and politicians. Thealleged irregularities surfaced a few months ago and the thenChief Minister Ashok Chavan had to resign over the scam.MOREPTI SP SK
The court refused to grant more than two weeks to the agency and ordered the regional Joint Director of CBI toappear before it.
Meanwhile, the state Home Department, in its affidavitsaid there is no merit in the petitioner''s contention castingdoubts about the ACB''s ability to probe the case.
The CBI had registered a Preliminary Enquiry onNovember 15 last year after Defence Minister A K Antonyannounced a CBI probe into the scam, which involves somesenior Defence and state government officials and politicians.
Two former army chiefs Gen Deepak Kapoor and Gen N CVij and ex-navy chief Admiral Madhavendra Singh own flats inthe scam-hit society.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests had onJanuary 16 ordered demolition of the building within threemonths holding it as "unauthorised" and built in violationof the spirit of coastal regulations.
Apart from violating the CRZ norms, the society isalleged to have got various clearances from authoritiesthrough dubious means.