FIR against builder, bureaucrat in Mumbai land scam

July 5th, 2012 - 9:31 pm ICT by IANS  

Mumbai, July 5 (IANS) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) filed an FIR Thursday against realtor Niranjan Hiranandini and Maharashtra’s Additional Chief Secretary T.C. Benjamin in a Rs.45,000 crore land scandal.

In an embarrassment for the state government, special judge V.A. Daulatabadkar had on Tuesday asked ACB to lodge a first information report (FIR) under Section 156 (3) of the Criminal Procedure Code.

The order came after a complaint by activist Santosh Daundkara against Benjamin, Hiranandani and other civic officials for alleged involvement in the land scam that is worth Rs.45,000 crore.

Police officer-turned-lawyer, Y.P. Singh, and advocate Kiran Bhalerao represented the petitioner.

Daundkara’s lawyers said after the FIR was lodged that ACB would be empowered to arrest the accused and carry out searches.

“The FIR specifies the quantum of fraud as Rs.30,000 crore. However, as per current rates the value of the fraud is Rs.45,000 crore,” Singh said.

“Hiranandani, a frequent visitor to the state secretariat, is known for his proximity to senior politicians and high-level bureaucrats. But for the co-operation of such people this massive scam would never have happened,” he added.

The complaint would be processed 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 complaint was originally lodged by Daundkar with the ACB on June 30 2011. The agency, however, referred the matter to the state government as it involved bureaucrats.

Daundkar alleged that a fraud was played on common people, and provisions of public housing rules 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 this year.

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