FIRs in place, but no chargesheet against Bhujbal in corruption cases

The ACB has completed the 90-day period after filing FIRs against Chhagan Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan and Kalina land scam, but is awaiting the state’s nod to file chargesheets against the NCP leader

The BJP government in the state, that had made corruption scams involving the Congress and NCP an election issue, is yet to give sanction to the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) to file chargesheets against Chhagan Bhujbal, NCP leader.

Also Read: Bhujbal has 17 flats, 6 bungalows, 1.8-hectare farmhouse in 3 cities

Chhagan Bhujbal
Chhagan Bhujbal

Bhujbal was accused of corruption when he was heading the Public Works Department (PWD). The ACB has completed the 90-day period after registering the FIR, by which time the chargesheets should have been filed as per the norm, but it is yet to do so.

Read Story: ACB to save documents related to Chhagan Bhujbal, Ajit Pawar, on state's cloud storage

Sources in the ACB said that the entity has completed investigations in the cases involving Bhujbal. The ACB also has detailed chargesheets ready — running into thousands of pages — in both the Kalina land deal case and the Maharashtra Sadan (New Delhi) scam.

But it still has to get a sanction from the state to file both chargesheets in court. Only after the chargesheets are filed can court start trial and the ACB start attaching properties. The investigators had registered an FIR in the Kalina land deal case on June 9, after former AAP leader Anjali Damania and BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had raised the issue of corruption in the PWD of the earlier state government while awarding contracts.

“The ACB has completed 90 days and still they are waiting to file the chargesheets. This is resulting in benefits to the Bhujbals who are selling off their properties as the government or the ACB can’t attach properties before filing a chargesheet,” said Damania. ACB’s Director Pravin Dixit is set to become the Director General of Police, Maharashtra and leave his current charge.

Also Read: 'Ex-PWD secretary may become star witness against Chhagan Bhujbal'

The ACB has completed all the document work and sent it to Mantralaya for sanction. “There are clear mentions in the CrPc about filing of chargesheet and completion of investigations. If the government delays the sanction it will benefit the accused,” said criminal lawyer and former police officer Y P Singh.

The cases
In the first case an FIR was registered on June 9 against Bhujbal by the ACB for awarding contracts to Indiabulls for building a library in Mumbai University at Kalina and allegedly receiving a commission for it.

Pankaj Bhujbal is also an accused in the Maharashtra Sadan scam
Pankaj Bhujbal is also an accused in the Maharashtra Sadan scam

The second case relates to building of the Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi, (an FIR was filed on June 11) where the Bhujbal family allegedly floated firms in dubious names and awarded contracts to them to build the structure.

In the Maharashtra Sadan scam, Bhujbal’s son Pankaj and nephew Samir have also been named along with 14 other accused. Several senior Public Works Department officers have also been made accused in both the cases by the ACB.

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