The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) will re-investigate the complaint of land grab filed by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty against Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of Ideal Road Builders (IRB) Infrastructure Developers Limited.
The Bombay high court on Friday permitted the CBI to re-investigate Shetty's complaint saying it was "in the interest of justice".
A division bench of justices VM Kanade and PD Kode was hearing a petition by the CBI seeking to take over the probe in the land-grab case saying it may have been related to the activist's murder.
As per the Delhi Police Establishment Act, the CBI can take over any investigation provided the order to that effect is passed either by a high court or a state government.
The CBI, which is probing Shetty's murder, had approached the government in March saying it should be allowed to take over the probe in his complaint against Mhaiskar. The agency had also filed a petition in HC praying it should be handed over the probe in Shetty's complaint. "The CBI has sought permission to conduct a fresh probe, saying the investigation by the local police is faulty," CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar had argued.
However, the government had kept on informing HC that it hadn't decided if the case should be handed over to the agency and would make up its mind soon.
Even on Friday, the government pleader sought more time as the government has still not decided on this.
Dissatisfied with this, the judges said they are asking the CBI to re-investigate the case.
In October 2009, Shetty had filed a complaint with the Lonavala city police against 13 people, including Mhaiskar and a sub-registrar, alleging land grab.
Shetty had alleged that land acquired by the government for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, for which compensation was paid, was re-sold by the original owners to Aryan Infrastructure and Investment —an IRB Group company.
However, the local police had filed a closure report in September 2011 saying they did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty's allegations.
HC had set aside the closure report and asked the magistrate to consider the same afresh. The magistrate had then set aside the closure report in March and asked the local police to conduct fresh investigation. However, once again, the police had closed the case.
Shetty was stabbed to death near his house on January 13, 2010, when he had stepped out for a morning walk.