Adarsh scam: Court rejects bail plea of accused

Mumbai, April 21: A special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) court Saturday rejected the bail applications of six accused in the Adarsh housing scam arrested in March and April, officials said.

“Of the nine accused, two had applied for bail for the first time, while four accused applied the second time. Three accused in the case had applied for the bail earlier, which was rejected on April 4, but they did not apply for the bail for the second time,” CBI counsel Ejaz Khan told IANS.

“But it should be noted that bail applications of all nine accused have been rejected at some point in time,” he added.

On Tuesday, the CBI court had extended the judicial custody of all nine till April 30.

The CBI had, on April 3, arrested former municipal commissioner Jairaj Phatak and retired information commissioner Ramanand Tiwari in connection with the scam.

Phatak was the municipal commissioner of Mumbai in 2010 when the building’s height was allowed to be increased beyond 100 metres but without approval from the high-rise Committee of the municipal body. Phatak’s son has been allotted a flat in the society.

Tiwari’s son has also been allotted a flat in the building.

Phatak and Tiwari had applied for bail for the first time, which was rejected Saturday.

Four others, namely Maj.Gen. (retd) T. K. Kaul, Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer Pradeep Vyas, former Congress legislator Kanahiyalal Gidwani, and urban development secretary P. V. Deshmukh, had applied for bail for the second time which was rejected Saturday.

The second bail application by these four officials came after an interim report by the two-member commission was tabled before the Maharashtra Assembly Tuesday, where they cited “changed circumstances” as the reason for the bail application.

The interim report by the two-member judicial commission comprising former judge, Justice J.A. Patil and former state chief secretary P. Subrahmanyam, held that the land belongs to the state government.

However, Maj Gen (retd) A.R. Kumar, retired defence estates officer R.C. Thakur, Brig (retd) M.M. Wanchoo had not applied for bail for the second time.

Many top army officials and politicians, including former chief Minister Ashok Chavan, are alleged to have facilitated clearances for the building and got flats in it as quid pro quo.

The scam involves a prime plot in South Mumbai’s Colaba on which a 31-storey building was constructed by the society.

IANS