Charge sheet filed against Chhagan Bhujbal in MU library case

In fresh trouble for NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) today filed a 17,400 page charge sheet against the former state minister in a case of alleged kickbacks received in the award of contract of central library of Mumbai University at Kalina campus here.

Bhujbal is presently lodged in the Arthur Road jail after he was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on March 14 in a money laundering case in connection with Maharashtra Sadan construction scam. He is in judicial custody till March 31.

The ACB today filed voluminous charge sheet comprising documentary evidence against Bhujbal and six others, including officials from state Public Works Department, for criminal conspiracy, corruption, cheating and forgery under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act and Indian Penal Code.

The ACB case against Bhujbal and the other accused is that they caused huge losses to state government by leasing out a plot to a private developer at a very low rate for which the accused persons received huge kickbacks.

According to ACB, the case involves a prime plot at suburban Kalina belonging to Mumbai University, which granted a four-acre plot to the State to construct a library.

The PWD, under Bhujbal, allegedly issued tenders to construct the library in 2009 on one portion of the plot, and allegedly leased out the remaining land to a well known developer for 99 years, at Re 1 per square metre, which the ACB said is illegal.

The revenue department was kept in the dark about this deal and the collector was not informed, the ACB has alleged. This is the second charge sheet filed by ACB against Bhujbal this year. The first charge sheet was filed in February against Bhujbal and 16 others in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

The probe against Bhujbal began after the Bombay High Court while hearing a PIL by Aam Aadmi Party constituted a special investigation team comprising ACB and ED to look into the allegations.

ED in its case had alleged that Bhujbal and his family received kickbacks for awarding various government contracts, including the Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, to the tune of Rs 870 crore.

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