ACB to probe if 11 names of govt staff were misused by Bhujbal cousins.
Mumbai: Three days after the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) registered a case against NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal’s son Pankaj and his cousin Sameer Bhujbal for allegedly building a commercial complex on a residential plot in Oshiwara and cheating the state government, the agency has identified 11 bogus members of the fictitious cooperative housing society (CHS), who were named in the documents to secure the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) plot.
Investigators have found that 11 class-four government employees, whose names are mentioned as members of CHS, were allegedly not aware of the fictitious co-operative housing society. Out of the 11 government employees — most of them are class four employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) — whose statement will now be recorded as prime witnesses in the 500 crore Oshiwara plot case.
The officials will probe whether Bhujbal cousins and 15 other accused forged documents of the 11 persons with their original names and if they were actually kept in the dark about their identities being misused. The case was filed after the ACB officials conducted a preliminary probe. The investigation was launched following a complaint about irregularities in connection with the development of the Oshiwara plot.
The officials then learnt that the Mhada plot, which was reserved for a housing society, was acquired fraudulently, with the help of the government officials to build Tulsi CHS. The plot was used to build a six-storey commercial structure Platinum Court. The plot was developed by Bhavesh Builders Pvt Ltd, in which the Bhujbal brothers are directors.
“The statement of all the 11 bogus members, who have been identified, is important in the case, as based on their identities, the plan of building a CHS was proposed by the accused persons. The culpability of all the 17 accused will strengthen by these statements,” said an ACB officer.
When contacts, Bhujbal cousins lawyer Shapath Saxena said, “I won’t be able to coment on it as I am yet to receive any of the case related documents.”
The statements of the 10 Mhada officials, including its the then vice president Uttam Khobragade, will also be recorded to ascertain individual roles of all the officials.
All the accused have been booked under sections 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant), 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 466 (forgery of record of court or public register), 467 (forgery of valuable security, will, etc), 468 (forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (using forged documents/electronic records as genuine), 34 (acts of common intention) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. Also relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988 have also been added to the case.
The case against Bhujbal cousins