Adarsh case: CBI seeks custody of Gidwani

Mumbai: CBI today moved the Bombay High Court against the special CBI court`s refusal to grant it a custody of Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, former Congress Member of Legislative Council and a prime accused in the Adarsh Housing Society scam. The lower court, on March 27, remanded Gidwani (arrested on March 21) to judicial custody after accepting the argument of his lawyer that he had already been in CBI`s custody for ten days in a bribery case related to the Adarsh scam.

Gidwani, his son and two lawyers including a CBI counsel were arrested in the bribery case, and were in custody for ten days before being released on bail. Soon afterwards, CBI arrested Gidwani again in the main Adarsh case. CBI has said in the application before the High Court that investigation agency is entitled to seek an accused`s custody for up to 15 days.

"Gidwani was earlier in CBI custody in another case. Later he was in custody for four days in the Adarsh scam. Both are different offences," CBI lawyer Revati Dhere argued before the High Court today. Justice R C Chavan adjourned the hearing till on Friday. According to CBI, Gidwani, as the chief promoter of Adarsh Society in south Mumbai, was instrumental in getting clearances from different state departments. The society allegedly stands on Defence Ministry`s land and breaches environmental laws.

While Gidwani has three flats in his own name in the 31-storey building, he also allegedly paid for four `benami` flats from his bank account. "Of these four flats, two were reserved in proxy to oblige influential state government officials who dealt with the concerned file during the relevant period," CBI had told the lower court.