Chhagan Bhujbal discharged; timeline of Maharashtra Sadan case

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NCP chief and Maharashtra Food and Civil Supplies Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, his son Pankaj, nephew and former MP Sameer had been discharged by a particular courtroom on Thursday from the Maharashtra Sadan case which was being investigated by the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).The Bhujbals had been amongst eight accused discharged by the courtroom.

The ACB case to date

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In 2012, BJP chief Kirit Somaiya approached the ACB searching for an inquiry into the Maharashtra Sadan venture.

In 2014, the Bombay High Court had constituted a particular investigation workforce (SIT) to probe allegations of corruption in opposition to Bhujbal based mostly on a PIL filed by activist Anjali Damania, who was then with the Aam Aadmi Party. It was alleged then that there have been irregularities in awarding of contracts of over Rs 100 crore for 3 tasks in 2006 when Bhujbal was the state minister of the Public Works Department (PWD).

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In 2015, an FIR was filed in opposition to Bhujbal and others by the state ACB after which by the ED. It was claimed that the contract in query was given to Chamankar Developers for the development of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, a brand new Regional Transport Office (RTO) constructing in Andheri and a state visitor home in Malabar Hill. The businesses claimed that the contracts got to the agency with out following correct rules in return for kickbacks to companies and trusts managed by the Bhujbal household.

In March 2016, ED arrested Bhujbal. He remained behind bars at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail until the Bombay High Court granted him bail in May 2018.

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Earlier this 12 months, Bhujbal filed a discharge utility earlier than the particular courtroom which was allowed on Thursday. Bhujbal will, nevertheless, proceed to face proceedings earlier than the Enforcement Directorate, which had filed a separate money-laundering case based mostly on the offence filed by the ACB. Discharge functions filed by the accused within the ED case are pending listening to.

The ACB allegations

The Bhujbals and others had been booked below prices together with dishonest, forgery, prison conspiracy, prison breach of belief and related sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case originates from land owned by the state authorities in Andheri. Part of this land was occupied by slums which fashioned a society and within the 12 months 1997-98 handed a decision for his or her redevelopment by the Slum Rehabilitation Authority. Okay S Chamankar Enterprises was appointed as a developer. P S Chamankar and Associates was the architect. Both the companies had been subsequently named as accused within the case.

It was submitted earlier than the courtroom that there was problem in marking out the boundary of the land in query and a few portion of the adjoining RTO land was wanted. P S Chamankar wrote to the transport division in 2000 to hunt a NOC from RTO. The architect agency additionally sought to develop some a part of the RTO plot for the transport division. The proposal was nevertheless rejected then.

It was alleged earlier than the courtroom that in 2001, the agency once more made a proposal to Bhujbal, who was then the state minister. He directed for the involved departments to take acceptable motion. Subsequently, between 2001 to 2006, after being put up for motion earlier than varied departments together with the PWD of which Bhujbal was then minister, the proposal to develop the land was accepted on the situation that the the agency will make development price Rs 100 crore for the state authorities together with that of the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi amongst different situations.

The ACB chargesheet alleged that Bhujbal, different public servants together with the companies had triggered wrongful losses to the federal government. It was claimed {that a} false standing report with a false steadiness sheet was ready with an inappropriate calculation for revenue to the agency. It was alleged that whereas the potential revenue was proven to be 1.33 per cent, it was over 365 per cent. Other irregularities within the land use, development had been alleged. The standing report nevertheless types a vital a part of the case as whereas the ACB alleges that it exhibits losses had been triggered to the federal government, the accused maintains that the calculation exhibits that no losses had been triggered.

Bhujbal’s defence

Bhujbal’s legal professionals had whereas arguing for discharge maintained that the grievance was filed based mostly on unsuitable calculations and that the choice to award the contract was taken by the Cabinet Infrastructure Committee headed by the then chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh. He had additionally stated that he didn’t have any function in choosing the developer because the agency was appointed in 1998. The detailed order on his plea is but to be made out there.

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