The Maharashtra ACB Bureau today registered an FIR against the son and a nephew of former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and raided their residences and offices for “fraudulently” obtaining a plot in Mumbai and illegally constructing a commercial complex on it.
Apart from Bhujbal‘s son Pankaj and nephew Sameer, some senior bureaucrats who worked with the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) during the relevant period have also been named as accused, ACB sources said. Apart from the two, 15 others have been booked but nobody has been arrested yet.
The move comes days after the Income Tax department attached ‘benami’ assets of Rs 300 crore of Bhujbal, a former deputy chief minister, and his family members. “The 17 accused, through a criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery, obtained a plot from MHADA in the name of a fake cooperative housing society at Oshiwara in north Mumbai,” an ACB official said.
The accused initially formed a residential society, but with the help of some senior MHADA officials, a commercial complex was constructed on the land allotted for it, the official said. The accused also include committee members of the Oshiwara Tulsi Cooperative Society. The ACB has registered offences under IPC sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery) and 120 B (conspiracy) among others, and also under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, the official said.
You may also like to watch:
The accused registered a bogus entity called ‘Oshiwara Tulsi Cooperative Housing Society’ with forged documents and signatures, and then approached the MHADA to obtain a residential plot in Oshiwara, the ACB said. Senior MHADA officials allotted a plot to the society illegally, the ACB source said. Pankaj and Sameer, directors of Bhavesh Constructions, invested money and allegedly built a commercial complex on the plot, raking in crores of rupees in profit, the official said.
The offices of Oshiwara Tulsi Cooperative Housing Society was also raided by the ACB today. Sameer Bhujbal and Chhagan Bhujbal were also booked by the Enforcement Directorate in Maharashtra Sadan scam case last year.