Even as the death of Adarsh scam accused Kanhaiyalal Gidwani will in no way hamper the case proceedings, others accused in the case may actually use the death to try and wriggle out of the charges pressed against them, fear complainants who had blown the whistle over inconsistencies in the Adarsh society allocations.
Advocate Y P Singh, one of the chief whistleblowers in the case, revealed that the case against Gidwani will now be abated, as is the case after the death of accused persons. The statements that he made to the police, however, can still be used as evidence in the case. “Under Section 32 of the Indian Evidence Act, a dead person’s testimony is admissible. All the statements and dubious letters written by Gidwani will be admissible. The inability to cross-examine Gidwani would therefore not have any adverse impact on the case. As such, Gidwani was not cooperative as an accused.”
Amit Maru, one of the complainants in the scam, believes that others who are accused in the case will now try to scapegoat Gidwani, in his absence. “Gidwani was the chief promoter for Adarsh society, and now most of the others accused in the case will use his death to their advantage, saying that they were tricked by him. They will shift the blame entirely to him. However, the case is watertight and we expect that no guilty person will be able to wriggle out,” said Maru.
Santosh Daundker, one of the petitioners in the case, however, didn’t appear equally confident. “The death of Vilasrao Deshmukh and Kanhaiyalal Gidwani will definitely hamper the case. The CBI was dragging its feet in investigations since the very start. Now the case will move even more slowly,” he said.
Gidwani was the promoter for the controversy-stained Adarsh plot near Backbay in Cuffe Parade, which was allotted to the society for Rs 10 crore, less than 25 per cent of the land value back in 2004.
Gidwani was the prime accused in the case.
— Inputs Akela