Maharashtra's former chief minister Ashok Chavan today received a major body blow as the state Governor C Vidyasagar Rao allowed the Central Bureau of Investigation to prosecute him. Rao today gave his sanction to CBI to prosecute Chavan, under section 197 of CrPC, for offences under sections 120-B (conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) of IPC in the Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society case. The Governor had sought the aid and advice of the state council of ministers and he was subsequently advised by it to grant the sanction.
Chavan, who is campaigning for the party candidate in the Palghar bypoll election, told Business Standard: ''CBI's re-application to governor to prosecute me is totally illegal. We will seek the legal advice and proceed further.'' He had recently alleged that the BJP was trying to silent voices in the Opposition by pressuring the CBI and the Governor.
Former Governor K, Sankaranarayanan in December 2013 had refused sanction to the CBI to prosecute Chavan, who had to step down as chief minister after the scam surfaced in November 2010.
Chavan was among the 12 people chargesheeted by the investigation agency in connection with the case. The chargesheet had alleged conspiracy but also referred to Chavan's individual acts when he was revenue minister and later chief minister. CBI had thereafter closed case against Chavan.
However, the CBI joint director through letter on October 8, 2015, had again sought state Governor's sanction for Chavan's prosecution under Section 197 of the CrPC on the basis of the additional or fresh material, namely the report of Justice Patil Commission of enquiry and the observations of the Bombay High Court in the criminal revision application no 136 of 2014. The CBI has now cited these findings as fresh evidence against Chavan.
The chief minister Devendra Fadnavis had said that the Congress government had neither rejected nor accepted the findings.