The Bombay high court has asked the Maharashtra government to reply to the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) petition which seeks to take over the probe into the alleged land grab complaint filed by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty. Shetty had filed the complaint against Virendra Mhaiskar, chairman and managing director of Ideal Road Builders (IRB) Infrastructure Developers Limited and 12 others.
A division bench of Justice PV Hardas and Justice Abhay Thipsay asked additional public prosecutor Jayesh Yagnik to take instructions from the government on whether they were willing to hand over the probe to CBI.
CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar informed the high court that on March 18, the judicial magistrate first class (JMFC), Maval, had reopened Shetty’s complaint against Mhaiskar while setting aside the closure report filed by the local police in September 2011.
Consequently, the local police have to re-investigate Shetty’s complaint afresh.
In October 2009, Shetty had filed the complaint with the Lonavla city police against 13 people, including Mhaiskar and a sub-registrar.
The CBI, which is probing Shetty’s murder, filed a petition before the high court seeking to take over the slain RTI activist's complaint as well saying that it could be linked to his murder.
“The CBI has sought permission to conduct a fresh probe saying that the investigation by the local police is faulty,” argued Venegaonkar.
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 filed a closure report in September 2011 saying that they did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty's allegations.
The high court had set aside the closure report and asked the JMFC to consider the same afresh. The JMFC set aside the closure report.
Shetty was stabbed to death near his house on January 13, 2010, when he had stepped out for morning walk.