first_imgPune: Nine months after city-based whistleblower Hemant Gavande filed a complaint against former Maharashtra Revenue Minister and senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Eknath Khadse in connection with a case of alleged land grab, the Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau (ACB) to investigate and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.It was Mr. Gavande’s accusation that brought to light Mr. Khadse’s alleged transactions involving a prime plot of land under the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in Bhosari. He had lodged a police complaint against Mr. Khadse, his wife Mandakini, and his son-in-law Girish Chaudhari, at Pune’s Bund Garden police station on May 30 last year.After months of investigation, M.K. Bahaddarpure, a senior police inspector at the police station, filed an affidavit in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday stating that “no prima facie proof could be found against Mr. Khadse”, following which an FIR can not be lodged.In a letter to Mr. Gavande, Mr. Bahaddarpure said that owing to the lack of proof, no FIR can be lodged.Clean chit quashedThe court also slammed the Bund Garden police’s ‘clean chit’ to the former Minister.The court has directed that the matter be transferred to the ACB within a week, following which the agency would probe and file an FIR against Mr. Khadse.Speaking to The Hindu Mr. Gavande said, “I have full faith in the ACB and the High Court’s directive is an indication of hope. It proved that any politician, no matter how high, ought not to misuse his position.”Mr. Gavande had alleged a pre-meditated “criminal conspiracy” between Mr. Khadse, his kin, and the original owner of the plot of land, Abbas Rasool Ukani.According to Mr. Gavande, the original valuation of the plot, according to the sub-registrar, stood at ₹31 crore, as opposed to Mr. Khadse’s figure of Rs. 3.75 crore. Mr. Gavande alleged that the value of the property when Mr. Khadse’s kin applied for compensation would stand at Rs. 65 crore, twice the original market valuation (calculated as per the compensation under the new Land Acquisition policy of 2013).last_img

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