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dna exclusive: Powai land scam: Special court pulls up ACB for alleged bias towards Hiranandani

Sunday, 19 January 2014 - 7:00am IST | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

The special anti-corruption bureau (ACB) court on Saturday pulled up the ACB for directly filing a closure report in the multi-crore Powai scam without producing an investigation report.

Prominent builder Niranjan Hiranandani, along with several bureaucrats, are accused in the case.
The court made it clear that it would go through the investigation report before deciding on closing the case. The matter will come up for hearing on February 15.

The ACB filed a closure report a few days back, saying adequate evidence was not found against the accused. The complainant, Santosh Daundkar, then filed another application before the court seeking the investigation report.

dna has a copy of the application, which the RTI activist, Daundkar, filed before the special ACB court, presided by judge VA Daulatabadkar. The application reads, “It is overwhelmingly apparent that the closure of the case has been done for highly nepotistic considerations. Pursuant to such detrimental resolves, formidable evidence linked to the case was not collected at all (by the investigating agency).

“… in such a mammoth corruption case, the ACB says there is no evidence, when the evidence is in heaps. Hence for this reason, it becomes highly expedient for the sake of transparency and probity, that not only the accused, but also the ACB officers who are allegedly involved in such nepotistic acts (should) be made accountable.”

Despite repeated attempts, builder Hiranandani could not be contacted.

Daundkar, in his complaint, said the state government had given 344 acres of land in Powai to Hiranandani Builders in 1986 on an 80-year lease for developing and building houses for the poor. Daundkar alleged the builder had violated the terms and conditions of the tripartite agreement it had signed with the state government and the MMRDA.

According to the agreement, the houses were not supposed to exceed 430sqft by 860sqft. But the builder allegedly constructed houses measuring around 1,000sqft and sold it to the rich at a premium.

“The builder has made structural changes, combined two flats into one and sold it to rich people,” Daundkar alleged. As per current rates, the total value of the scam is estimated to be around Rs45,000 crore.




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