Housing scam: HC notice to prosecutor for false statement
Suresh Jain was arrested in March last year for his alleged involvement in the Rs 32 crore housing project scam
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has issued notice to a special public prosecutor appearing in a multi-crore housing scam case against former state minister and Shiv Sena MLA Suresh Jain for making a false statement that the Maharashtra government has decided that there is no need for sanction to prosecute Jain.
Prosecutor N D Suryawanshi had in May this year told a sessions court in Jalgaon that the state government has come to a definite conclusion that there is no need for sanction to prosecute Jain in the 2006 Jalgaon mass housing project scam.
Based on the statement, the sessions court took cognizance of the case and framed charges against Jain and other accused.
Jain approached the Aurangabad bench of the Bombay High Court challenging the sessions court order taking cognisance. In his petition, Jain said that the case against him is non-maintainable due to want of sanction as contemplated under section 197 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
Jain’s lawyers Majeed Memon and Subhash Jadhav submitted to the High Court a letter received from the state government in response to a query made by Jain under the Right to Information Act.
“According to the letter dated December 9, the question of sanction to prosecute Jain is pending before the state government and no decision has been taken on the issue yet,” Jadhav said.
After perusing the letter, Justice Abhay Thipsay on Monday issued notice to Suryawanshi and directed him to file an affidavit stating on what basis he made such a statement before the sessions court.
“Considering this letter, which is taken on record, prima facie, it appears that a false/wrong statement was made by prosecutor N D Suryawanshi before the trial court. I am in agreement with the petitioner’s counsel that the matter cannot be taken lightly,” Justice Abhay Thipsay said.
“If the prosecutor fails to file his affidavit by January 8, it will be presumed that he has no explanation to offer and the matter will be dealt with further, in accordance with law,” the court noted.
Jain was arrested in March last year for his alleged involvement in the Rs 32 crore housing project scam. It was found that the mass housing schemes were implemented on lands which did not belong to the municipal council, huge mobilization was given to firms linked to Suresh Jain and there was gross misuse of funds.