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The enforcement directorate (ED) chief was Monday granted exemption from personal appearance before the Bombay High Court in a case related to the scam-ridden Adarsh housing society here.

The court was hearing an application filed by the ED on behalf of its chief who was earlier told to appear before it personally March 12 and submit a status report on probe related to the scam.

The division bench of Justice P.B. Majmudar and Justice D.R. Dhanuka Feb 28 castigated the ED for “serious lapse” in failing to initiate investigations against some Adarsh society members allegedly involved in money-laundering.

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

The scam claimed the job of former chief minister Ashok Chavan after allegations surfaced of collusion between bureaucrats and politicians to corner flats in the building. The flats were originally meant for widows and heroes of the Kargil conflict.

In its application, the ED sought the court’s permission to permit a special director or joint director to appear before it to present the probe report.

The ED contended that it was not shying away from investigations and requested that the other two officials could appear before the court and submit the status report. The court accepted the plea.

“The special director is a higher official. We summon him along with the status report detailing steps taken or proposed to be taken by the ED against erring persons in connection with the money-laundering,” said Justice Majmudar.

The court also asked the ED to take steps to prosecute people against whom evidence was found.

“The CBI (Central Bureau of Investigation) has found that several members have purchased flats through ‘benami’ transactions, now it is up to the ED to look into it,” the court said.

The court’s order Monday came during the hearing of a bunch of petitions filed by social activists Simpreet Singh and Pravin Wategaonkar in the Adarsh housing society scam.



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