Nagpur: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday did not rule out the possibility of invoking stringent provisions of Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA) against NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad, whose name has cropped up in connection with the high-profile suicide case of Thane builder Suraj Parmar.
Making a statement on the calling attention motion moved by BJP member and noted builder Mangal Prabhat Lodha and others, Fadanvis told the Maharashtra Assembly that both Commissioner and Joint Commissioner of Police (Thane) were investigating the case.
He said the police investigation are being conducted on the basis of Parmar's suicide note and two of his dairies recovered after the builder shot himself dead on October 7.
Fadnavis said police have been directed to probe the case in an impartial manner and "whosoever is involved whether politicians or builders, will not be spared."
When members from the treasury benches insisted that Fadnavis reveal the name of the MLA allegedly facing charges for abetting the suicide of Parmar, the CM informed the House that it was Jitendra Awhad.
To which, members cutting across party lines, including Opposition Leader Radha Krishna Vikhe Patil (Congress), Yogesh Sagar, Anil Gote, Anil Bonde (all BJP), Imtiayaz Jalil (AIMIM), Pratap Sarnaik (Sena) and others felt that there was a need to break the nexus between builders and bureaucrats.
Parmar's suicide note alleged that a nexus of corporators and officials was harassing him for bribes.
Fadanvis said that some entries indicative of possible bribe beneficiaries in the case have been recovered from Parmar's diary and police were still decoding them. "Police have not registered any offence (against Awhad).
I did not rule out applying MCOCA," the Maharashtra CM said. "The investigations are on the right track. If needed, the case once investigated will be handed over to a fast track court.
Subsequently the trial will be conducted on merit basis," the CM said adding there is no 'vendetta politics' involved in the case and police is probing it purely on basis of evidence.
MCOCA is a law enacted by Maharashtra in 1999 to combat organised crime and terrorism. Punishment envisaged in the Act is 3-10 years of imprisonment which can be extended to life imprisonment. Death penalty can also be imposed on criminals if they kill any one.
Four corporators Najeeb Mulla, Hanumant Jagdale (both NCP), Vikrant Chavan (Congress) and Sudhakar Chavan (independent) have been accused of abetting Parmar's suicide.