In a move that could open up a Pandora’s box in the Pune RTI activist Satish Shetty murder, the CBI now wants to reopen and re-investigate an alleged land scam case, which Shetty had filed against 13 people, including the CMD of an infrastructure major and a sub-registrar, in October 2009.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar confirmed that the agency has filed an application in the Bombay high court seeking permission to re-investigate the case in which Shetty was the complainant.
“The hearing was scheduled for August 12 but it has now been kept for hearing on August 21 by the high court,” Venegaonkar said.
In 2009, Shetty had alleged that the IRB connived with government officials and others to conduct large-scale irregularities and purchase land at Taje and Pimploli villages near the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Following Satish Shetty’s investigations and complaint, the Lonavala police on October 15, 2009, registered an offence (C.R.No.152/2009) against one Deepak Gadgil and 12 others, including the CMD of an infrastructure major, and the sub-registrar of assurances of Maval area in Lonavala.
The case was registered under various sections of the India Penal Code.
In March 2011, after investigating the matter, the Lonavala city police did not find any evidence to substantiate the allegations made by Shetty and filed a closure report in court. Following this, the case was closed and investigations stopped.
On January 13, 2010, Shetty, 38, was murdered when he stepped out of his house in Talegaon Dabhade town in Pune district for his morning walk. He was stabbed on his head, hands, temple and neck by assailants.
After Shetty’s brother Sandip moved a writ petition in the high court, the case was transferred to CBI, which is investigating the case since 2011.
The CBI now wants to re-investigate the old case, “because the genesis of Shetty’s murder lies in this (October 2009) case”, a CBI officer said.
The state government is expected to file its say in the high court on August 21 and if the court is convinced it may allow the CBI to reopen and re-investigate it.
In the two years of its investigations, the CBI, so far has not touched the alleged land scam exposed by Shetty and has only been investigating circumstances that led to his murder.