Court wants probe into Maharashtra land scam: Activist

July 3rd, 2012 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 3 (IANS) In an embarrassment for the Maharashtra government, a special court here has asked the police to register a first information report (FIR) over a land scam allegedly involving a bureaucrat and a realtor, an activist said Tuesday.

Special Judge V.A. Daulatabadkar ordered the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to conduct investigations and lodge an FIR in a Rs.45,000 crore land scandal at Hiranandani Gardens, Powai, said complainant and Right to Information activist Santosh Daundkar.

“It is suspected that hundreds of flats were doled out as bribes to politicians and bureaucrats to facilitate the fraud on the 344 acres of land in the posh Powai area,” said one of his lawyers.

The complaint would be investigated against realtor Niranjan Hiranandani and Additional Chief Secretary, Urban Development, Thomas Benjamin and others, under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, the Urban Land (Ceiling & Regulation) Act, 1976 and the Maharashtra Regional and Town Planning Act, 1966.

The court also sought a report.

Daundkar’s lawyers - Y.P. Singh and Kiran Bhalerao - said after the FIR, the ACB would be empowered to arrest the accused and carry out searches.

The original complaint was lodged June 30, 2011 by Daundkar with the ACB. However, it referred the matter to the state government as it involved bureaucrats.

Daundkar alleged that a fraud was played on the common people and provisions of mass public housing were flouted by the builder in connivance with officials.

After the ACB failed to move in the matter, Daundkar lodged a criminal complaint with the ACB special court in April.

Y.P. Singh claimed that this could be the “biggest and largest” land scam in modern India in which several politicians and bureaucrats were allegedly bribed.

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