Expressing its inclination to ask the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to re-investigate the alleged land grab case which was filed by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty in 2009, the Bombay high court on Tuesday has directed the state to file a detailed affidavit.
In October 2009, Shetty had filed a complaint with the Lonavla city police station against 13 people, including the CMD of IRB Infrastructure Developers, Virendra Mahiskar, and the sub-registrar of assurances in Lonavla. dna had reported on August 12 that the CBI has filed an application before the HC seeking permission to reopen and re-investigate the case in which the government had filed a closure report. “The CBI has also sought that the closure report should be set aside,” CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar said. Justice ML Tahilyani on Tuesday directed the government to file a detailed affidavit along with the documents on which the local police had relied while filing the closure report in the case.
“The detailed affidavit should state on what basis the closure report was filed, including the sale deed, revenue records and the correspondents between the revenue officers,” he said.
On Tuesday, the government conceded that prima facie the transfer of land seems fraudulent. The judge then asked, “...Then how did you file the closure report?”
The investigating officer, Sunil Tonape, had filed a closure report before the metropolitan magistrate Vadgaon Maval on September 28, 2011, stating that the police did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty’s allegations. The magistrate had accepted the closure report on December 27, 2011. Tonape was then attached with the local crime branch, Pune (rural). Presently, he is assistant police inspector attached with the Walchandnagar police station at Indapur, Pune.
In 2009, Shetty had alleged that IRB had 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 Shetty’s investigations and complaint, the Lonavla 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 Lonavla. The case was registered under various sections of the Indian Penal Code.