The Bombay High Court is fast losing patience with the state when it comes to the alleged land grabbing by former revenue minister Eknath Khadse. Threatening to intervene soon, the court observed yesterday: "Registering an FIR is a statutory duty, it's the first step in the legal process. You have to see whether the minister has misused power or not. On March 7, we will give a detailed order on the matter."
On the other hand, the state has asked for an extension of six weeks for the second time.
Khadse is being investigated because of allegations that he grabbed a plot in Bhosari, Pune that had been reserved for MIDC, and paid just Rs 3.75 crore — a fraction of the real value of around Rs 25 crore. The matter is being probed by a one-member committee comprising retired Justice DS Zoting.
The HC is hearing a petition filed by advocate SS Pathwardhan and social activist Hemant Gawade, claiming that the committee does not have real powers and is merely an attempt to buy time. Gawade had earlier claimed that the police were refusing to register an FIR in the matter when he approached them.
Meanwhile, Khadse appeared before the Zoting committee yesterday for the first time to present his side on the matter. The committee had sent several notices to him earlier. Khadse submitted his side in an affidavit in Nagpur's Ravibhuvan area, and he was asked to appear again on February 21 as the MIDC was not ready.
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