Bhujbal case: PWD dy secretary, former chief engineer grilled

Mumbai: A deputy secretary and a retired chief engineer of the PWD were today questioned by the special investigation team which is probing allegations of corruption against the former PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal.

Chhagan Bhujbal
Chhagan Bhujbal

Chhagan Bhujbal

"The PWD deputy secretary S S Solankhi and retired chief engineer Arun Devdhar were today grilled for several hours by the SIT," said an officer of the state anti-corruption bureau.

SIT, which consists of officials from ACB and Enforcement Directorate, has so far questioned several officials, Bhujbal's MLA son Pankaj, and the nephew Sameer, a former MP.

Bhujbal, an NCP stalwart, is also likely to be questioned in the case in coming days, sources said.

Last December the BJP-led government gave nod to ACB's proposal to conduct 'open inquiry' against Bhujbal. During Bhujbal's tenure as PWD minister in the previous regime, the government had awarded contracts for construction of Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, a state guest house at Malabar Hill in South Mumbai and the new administrative building and residential quarters for Regional Transport Office in suburban Andheri.

It was alleged that the contracts were given to ineligible people who were close to Bhujbal, and the costs escalated significantly.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had approached ACB, seeking inquiry, alleging that Bhujbal's friends and family-owned firms were involved in several non-transparent and corrupt transactions, using a web of shell-companies to park the money earned through illegal means.

After the new government allowed open inquiry (where the person is called and statement is recorded), the High Court constituted the SIT in response to a PIL filed by Aam Aadmi Party against Bhujbal.

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