Act of political vendetta, says Ashok Chavan

Former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan described Friday’s High Court order in Adarsh case as one that restored the credibility and prestige of the Governor’s office.

Mr. Chavan had challenged the decision of Governor Ch Vidyasagar Rao to allow the Central Bureau Of Investigation (CBI) to prosecute him in the Adarsh Housing scam. “The decision, taken by him as the constitutional head of the State, was recommended by the BJP Ministry and the CBI. I thank the judiciary and we have full faith in our country’s judiciary,” Mr. Chavan said.

‘Bid to malign Opposition’

The former Chief Minster said had the court ruled against him, it might have set a bad precedent. Governor Rao’s predecessor K. Sankaranarayanan had declined to allow the CBI to prosecute him, which was seen by Opposition parties as a move to protect Mr. Chavan.

“This was an act of political vendetta with the intention of maligning Opposition parties,” Mr. Chavan said. The judgment would go a long way in ensuring that mala fide intentions by any political party would be not be accepted by the judiciary.

Mr. Chavan, who is the president of the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee (MPCC), was the Chief Minister when the scam broke out and was forced to quit in 2010.

He said the court verdict had come a day after the 2G case verdict that acquitted all 18 charged in the case, including former Telecom Minister A Raja. “Both the cases were hyped by the BJP during the 2014 general elections to gain political mileage,” he said.

However, the Adarsh case did not have any impact on his personal political fortunes. Under Mr. Chavan’s leadership, Congress swept the Nanded Waghala Municipal Corporation elections in October this year.

Mr. Chavan said the court order was a huge relief for him. “It is something I would like to put behind me.”