Pune: A Special Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Court on Wednesday discharged four persons including Virendra D Mhaiskar, Chairman & Managing Director of IRB Infrastructure Developers Ltd in a government land grabbing case.
Late RTI activist Satish Shetty had unearthed the scam about the land in Pimploli village along the Mumbai-Pune Expressway.
Special Judge AK Patil’s order though dictated in open court, was not typed till late Wednesday. The Judge said no case is made out to even frame charges under the sections alleged by the CBI. The CBI had opposed the discharge application stating there is sufficient evidence against the accused.
The discharge application was filed on the ground that the charge sheet filed against Mhaiskar, the company (IRB Infra), M/s Aryan Infrastructure Investments Pvt Ltd and Deepak D Gadgil, was devoid of substance and had no grounds to frame the charge.
The original case was registered with Lonavla city police station based on a complaint lodged by Shetty on October 15, 2009. He alleged that Mhaiskar and 15 others in connivance with then sub-registrar (Lonavla) Ashwini Kshirsagar fraudulently purchased government land (belonging to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation) in Ozarde and Pimploli villages. Shetty was shot dead near his residence on January 13, 2010, in Talegaon.
In 2014, the Bombay High Court transferred the case to CBI’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), Pune unit. The agency filed a charge sheet against 18 persons on December 6, 2017. “The accused persons conspired between 2007 and 2009 to cheat the government by fraudulently purchasing the land. We have sufficient evidence against the accused,” said CBI DySP Rajiv Kumar, while opposing the discharge application.
After the discharge order, a spokesperson for IRB stated, “We are pleased to inform that our stand is vindicated. The discharge application has been allowed on merits by the CBI Special Court.”