No threat to man for complaining against CM, says ACB

No threat to man for complaining against CM, says ACB
No threat to man for complaining against CM, says ACB

The Delhi government today told a court here that there was no threat to the life of a man who had complained against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and others alleging irregularities in grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines.

The submission was made in a status report of the investigating officer on the behalf of Delhi Police as well as the Anti Corruption Branch (ACB) of city government pursuant to the court’s direction issued on the last date of hearing.

However, the submission was opposed by complainant Rahul Sharma’s counsel Rishi Kapoor who said there was ample CCTV footage to support their claim that Sharma and his family were under grave threat.

The court has now put up the matter for arguments on a status report on September 27 when the CCTV footages will also be shown and placed before it.

The court was hearing a complaint of Sharma, founder of NGO Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO), seeking lodging of an FIR against Kejriwal, his brother-in-law Surender Bansal, proprietor of a construction firm and a public servant for alleged irregularities in grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines in Delhi. Bansal died in May this year.

Earlier, Sharma’s counsel had argued that Bansal had died under mysterious circumstances and the complainant was facing grave threat to his life.

He had claimed that the ACB had withheld a report given by the special cell of Delhi Police on the threat perception to the complainant, which should be placed before the court.

The court had on July 31 sought a status report regarding the complaint and the alleged threats given to the complainant and his family, while directing the SHO of the probe agency to look into the matter.

The ACB officer and prosecutor Balbir Singh had told the court that previous reports on alleged threat perceptions were already on record and according to the Uttar Pradesh Police, there was no threat to the complainant’s life.

During pendency of the complaint in the court, the ACB had registered three FIRs on its own on May 8 regarding alleged irregularities in granting the contracts.

A magisterial court had earlier directed the ACB to assess the threat perception regarding Sharma again after he submitted that on May 30 two unidentified motorcycle-borne persons fired gun shots at him when he was travelling in his car along with a cousin.

In his complaint, Sharma has alleged “deep-rooted corruption” in the road and sewer line projects, claiming that documents showing purchase of material were “concocted and forged” and a loss of over Rs 10 crore had been caused to the public exchequer.

( Source – PTI )

Yeddyurappa moves HC seeking quashing of ACB case against him

Yeddyurappa moves HC seeking quashing of ACB case against him
Yeddyurappa moves HC seeking quashing of ACB case against him

Former Karnataka chief minister and state BJP chief B S Yeddyurappa has moved the high court, seeking quashing of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) proceedings against him in connection with an alleged illegal land denotification.

He filed the petition in the Karnataka High Court yesterday after the ACB had summoned him to appear before it.

Yeddyurappa has been accused of de-notifying 257 acres of land from a preliminary notification of 3,546 acres, meant for the formation of the Dr K Shivaram Karanth Layout, “bypassing” the Bengaluru Development Authority (BDA) committee’s approval, when he was the chief minister between May, 2008 and July, 2011.

Two FIRs had been filed against the BJP leader, based on a complaint by a member of the ‘Jana Samanya Vedike’, a social organisation.

In his petition, Yeddyurappa alleged that the ACB was being used to target the opposition leaders in the state, “in retaliation” to the recent Income Tax raids on Karnataka Energy Minister D K Shivakumar’s properties.

He also charged that the FIRs against him were a result of “political vendetta and mala fide intentions”.

The former chief minister contended that there was no question of any denotification of land by him since the entire land acquisition was quashed by the high court in 2014.

Yeddyurappa, who was asked to appear before the ACB yesterday, has sought 10 days’ time, saying he needed to gather all the facts related to the matter.

Pointing out that there was a gap of only two days between the date of issuing the summons and the date of appearance, Yeddyurappa said upon his request, he was given the copies of the complaint and the FIR, along with the preliminary inquiry report, only on August 18.

( Source – PTI )

Probe on in DCW recruitment case: ACB to court

Probe on in DCW recruitment case: ACB to court
Probe on in DCW recruitment case: ACB to court

The Anti-Corruption Branch today told a special court that further probe in a case involving Delhi Commission for Women chief Swati Maliwal for alleged irregularities in the recruitment process is going on.

The investigating officer (IO) said further investigation, as directed by the court earlier, was underway and sought time to complete the probe.

Special Judge Hemani Malhotra granted time to the probe agency and fixed the matter for May 5 for further hearing.

Maliwal, who was earlier granted bail by the court in the matter, was also present at the hearing and sought copies of deficient documents supplied with the charge sheet.

The court also directed the IO to provide copies of documents to the AAP leader.

Maliwal was summoned as accused by the court on January 18 after taking cognisance of the charge sheet filed by ACB.

The court, however, had said the probe has not identified Maliwal’s associates with whose connivance “illegal practices were adopted” and directed the police to probe their role and file supplementary charge sheet against them.

The charge sheet was filed by ACB on December 21, 2016 against Maliwal in connection with alleged irregularities in appointment of AAP workers in DCW.

The ACB had taken up the probe on a complaint by former DCW chief Barkha Shukla Singh, who had alleged that several AAP supporters were given plum posts in the women’s panel.

Singh, an ex–MLA, had filed the complaint against Maliwal and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on August 11, 2016, alleging that many illegal practices were adopted by them to financially benefit aides and associates of Aam Aadmi Party at the cost of public exchequer.

A case was lodged against Maliwal on September 19 last year for alleged offences of cheating and criminal breach of trust by public servant under IPC and provisions of Prevention of Corruption Act.

ACB had said during probe, it was found that Maliwal, in connivance with others has allegedly abused her official position and deliberately ignored the procedure laid down rules to employ associates or AAP workers beyond the authorised sanctioned strength of 26 posts, causing unauthorised benefits to them at the cost of public exchequer.

It was also found during the investigation that the appointments were made without inviting any applications by way of publication or constituting a selection board.

According to the prosecution, the probe revealed that the remuneration amount was hiked in a whimsical manner thereby granting undue pecuniary benefits to the close associates of Maliwal and those connected to AAP.

( Source – PTI )

PWD scam: Police transfer complaint against Kejriwal to ACB

A criminal complaint filed against Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his brother-in-law and a government official in the alleged PWD scam has been transferred to the Anti-Corruption Branch (ACB), Delhi Police told a city court on Saturday.

Delhi Police’s Economic Offence Wing (EOW) submitted a report before Metropolitan Magistrate Abhilash Malhotra stating that it has enquired into the complaint and has now transferred it to the ACB.

“The complaint has been transferred to Anti Corruption Branch… for further necessary action at their end,” EOW said in its report.

The court listed the matter for further hearing on the complaint on March 23.

The court was hearing a complaint filed by founder of Roads Anti-Corruption Organisation (RACO) Rahul Sharma, for direction to police to lodge an FIR against Kejriwal, his brother-in-law Surender Bansal, proprietor of a construction firm, and a public servant for alleged irregularities in the grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines in Delhi.

Advocate Kislay Pandey, who filed the plea on behalf of the complainant, has alleged “deep-rooted corruption” and said the documents showed no material was actually purchased for executing the projects.

Another court had earlier dismissed Bansal’s plea to transfer the matter from the court of magistrate Malhotra, saying the application was not maintainable.

The EOW had earlier also filed a status report before the court seeking time to conclude its enquiry into allegations of irregularities in grant of contracts for roads and sewer lines in the city.

The complainant has alleged documents showing purchase of material were “concocted and forged”, and a loss of over Rs 10 crore had been caused to the public exchequer.

The plea demanded that the role of the chief minister be investigated as he had allegedly caused substantive gains to Bansal and others by using his influence.

The complainant alleged that Bansal operated through several dummy firms to obtain the government contracts in connivance with several senior PWD officials. These contracts never got executed “whereas shockingly all the payments were cleared under the pressure from Kejriwal”.

Source: PTI

Khadse land case to be transferred to ACB: Maha govt tells Bombay HC

Khadse land case to be transferred to ACB: Maha govt tells Bombay HC
Khadse land case to be transferred to ACB: Maha govt tells Bombay HC

The Anti-Corruption Bureau would probe the land deal case against BJP leader Eknath Khadse and register an FIR against the accused, Maharashtra government today told the Bombay High Court which said the investigation should be carried out “expeditiously and independently”.

The government’s decision to transfer the probe to ACB comes after the high court had during earlier hearings expressed displeasure over the manner in which the local police was handling the investigation.

State government counsel Niteen Pradhan informed the division bench of Justices R V More and Revati Mohite Dere today that the Pune police, which was earlier investigating the case, would not be able to probe the case falling under Prevention of Corruption Act.

“The investigation into the case against Khadse and his family members will be transferred to ACB. An FIR will be lodged against the accused persons,” Pradhan said.

The high court had earlier said that if the government was not willing to transfer probe to ACB then it would pass appropriate orders.

The bench was hearing a petition filed by activist Hemant Gavande.

The petitioner alleged that Khadse, during his tenure as revenue minister, purchased a three-acre plot at Bhosari in Pune owned by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) in the name of his kin for Rs 3.75 crore as against the market price of Rs 40 crore.

The state government had earlier set up a judicial commission, headed by retired Justice Dinkar Zoting, to probe the allegations against Khadse.

The high court today said the ACB should carry out the probe “expeditiously and independently”.

It also said that the ACB should not let the previous findings of the Pune police and the judicial commission affect its investigation.

The court said the probe will be supervised by ACB’s Additional Director General.

The HC posted the petition for further hearing on April 3 and asked the ACB to inform it about the progress in the probe by then.

In February this year, the state had told the HC that Pune police had not detected any “prima facie cognisable offence” in the case.

Khadse had quit the Devendra Fadnavis ministry in June last year in the wake of graft allegations, including irregularities in the Pune MIDC land deal.

He had denied allegations of wrongdoing.

( Source – PTI )

ACB files chargesheet in Balganga irrigation scam

ACB files chargesheet in Balganga irrigation scam
ACB files chargesheet in Balganga irrigation scam

Anti-Corruption Bureau today filed a charge sheet against 10 people in connection with the Balganga irrigation scam, before a district court here.

The alleged multi-crore scam is related to construction of a dam on Balganga river in Raigad district of Konkan region.

Those named in the chargesheet are: Fateh Mohammed Khatri, Nisar Khatri, Abid Khatri and Jahid Khatri of FA Enterprises who have been charged with criminal conspiracy, cheating and forgery, among other charges.

The chargesheet also names KIDC (Konkan Irrigation Development Corporation) former officials Girish Babar, Balasaheb Patil, Ramchandra Shinde, Anand Kalukhe, Rajesh Rite and Vijay Kasat. They are charged with corruption, criminal misconduct, cheating etc.

The ACB slapped various sections of IPC for cheating and fraud, besides the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act 1988 against the accused.

On August 25 last year, the ACB had registered an FIR against 11 accused under the Prevention of Corruption Act for allegedly causing a loss of Rs 92 crore to the government through misconduct in connection with the construction of the dam.

It is alleged that the original cost of the project escalated from Rs 353 crore to Rs 1,220 crore during the rule of Congress-led UPA government.

After assuming power in 2014, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis had ordered ACB to conduct an open enquiry in this regard.

(Source : PTI)

PIL seeks transfer of probe in Road, Desilting scams

desilting scams(PTI) A PIL in the Bombay High Court has sought transfer of probe from city police to Anti-corruption Bureau (ACB) in the alleged road contract and desilting scams, saying it would expose the “unholy nexus” between contractors and civic staff.

The PIL, filed by Vivekananda Gupta, is placed for hearing before a division bench of Justices V M Kanade and M S Sonak on July 12.

The petition said there was water logging in the city on July 19 and 20 last year due to heavy rains following which Municipal Commissioner (MC) had ordered an inquiry into the desilting contract work.

The probe revealed “unholy nexus” of contractors and civic officials, the petition alleged.

Subsequently, the Municipal Commissioner ordered filing of FIR against contractors involved in the ‘Desilting scam’, also known as ‘nalla safai scam’.

The chief engineer (Vigilance) and few officials of MCGM (Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai) were suspended. The ‘nalla safai scam’ exposed the fraud and nexus of contractors with MCGM officials, the PIL alleged.

In another development in the ‘road contract scam’, a probe was ordered by Municipal Commissioner on a complaint received from BJP MP and the Mayor.

The probe pertained to the construction of roads during 2013-14, 2014-15 and 2015-16. The interim probe revealed serious irregularities in the road work. The municipal chief ordered registration of an FIR.

The FIR named six accused including third party road auditors and chief engineer (Roads) was suspended immediately.

Both the FIRs were registered with Azad Maidan Police station, said the petition and demanded that the probe be transferred to ACB in view of alleged nexus of contractors with civic staff, the PIL demanded.

Later, the FIR pertaining to the ‘Desilting scam’ was transferred from Azad Maidan Police Station to the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police. .

Bombay HC seeks ACB probe report in Balganga Dam project

Bombay HC seeks ACB probe report in Balganga Dam project
Bombay HC seeks ACB probe report in Balganga Dam project

The Bombay High Court today said it wanted to peruse investigation reports of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the alleged Rs 494-crore scam involving construction of Balganga dam project in Raigad district of Maharashtra.

Accordingly, a bench, headed by Justice Naresh Patil, asked ACB to produce the reports before June 2016 about their investigation in a case registered by it against a company and its owners for alleged involvement in the scam.

The court was acting on a bunch of petitions seeking to quash FIR in the scam involving construction of Balganga dam project in Raigad district.

Jaitoon Khatri, Fateh Khatri, Nisar Khatri and Abid Khatri of the company — which bagged the government contract for constructing Balganga dam — had filed separate petitions seeking to quash the FIR registered against them by ACB in this matter.

According to ACB, investigations had allegedly shown that the accused had diverted a major portion of Rs 494 crore that was paid to their firm M/s F A Enterprises by Maharashtra government for the project, to the accounts of dummy companies owned by the family.

ACB has booked 11 accused, including government officials, under IPC and Prevention of Corruption Act for alleged misconduct in the tendering process of Balganga dam project.

The case of ACB is that funds were disbursed to accused for the project and they in turn diverted the money to various firms claiming these pertained to the works related to the project.

However, ACB reportedly learnt during investigations that these were allegedly dummy companies floated by the accused for siphoning off the money.

The accused have denied the accusations in the petitions and told the High Court that they were falsely implicated in the case.

( Source –  PTI )

AG seeks time in ACB case, matter posted to April 20

AG seeks time in ACB case, matter posted to April 20
AG seeks time in ACB case, matter posted to April 20

The State Advocate General Madhu R Naik today sought time for seeking certain instructions from Karnataka government in a case pertaining to operation of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB).

Granting time to facilitate the Advocate General toseek instructions from the government, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Subhro Kamal Mukherejee and Justice Ravi Malimath posted the matter for next hearing on April 20.

On April 7, the High Court had stayed theoperation of ACB, saying corruption cases being probedby the Lokayukta and pending sanction for prosecution should notbe transferred to the newly-formed investigation agency.

The division bench had passed the order on a petition filed by B G Chidananda Urs, a city-based advocate.

The bench had also said that any action initiated by ACB would be subject to the result of the PIL filed before the Court.

The petitioner had challenged thevalidity of creation of ACB.

He had contended that the government had issued a notification for creating ACB despite submitting before the court that it is taking measures to strengthen the Lokayukta.

( Source – PTI )

ACB files charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal

ACB files charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal
ACB files charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal

The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau today filed a charge sheet against senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal and others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

Besides Bhujbal, who was PWD minister in the Congress-NCP government in the state, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer and 14 others are named in the charge sheet.

The charge sheet, which runs into 20,000 pages, contains statements of over 60 witnesses.

An ACB officer said that the investigation revealed that in the construction of ‘Maharashtra Sadan’ (the state guest house in Delhi), contractor earned 80 per cent profit, while the rules allowed only 20 percent margin. “The accounts were fudged to show that the profit earned was only one percent,” he said.

Chamankar Associates, the contractor firm, transferred money to Niche Infrastructure and other companies in which Pankaj and Sameer were directors, he said.

“Most of the companies floated by Bhujbals are in the name of their employees and used for syphoning off funds. Niche was earlier owned by employees of Maharashtra Educational Trust. Bhujbals later became directors of MET,” the ACB officer said.

The original cost estimate for Maharashtra Sadan was Rs 13.5 crore, but later it was increased to Rs 50 crore. The Bhujbals got Rs 13.5 crore in kickbacks from the Chamankars who earned a profit of about Rs 190 crore from Maharashtra Sadan and other PWD works, the officer said.

“Most of the money was transferred to Niche by Chamankars after getting the project; the money ultimately reached Sameer and Pankaj.”

The ACB’s case relies entirely on documentary evidence such as paper trail of fund transfers and bank transactions, he said.

The ACB in June 2015 registered two FIRs against Bhujbals. First one is about alleged irregularities in allotment of a prime plot of land at Kalina in Mumbai to a developer.

( Source – PTI )