Days after the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau gave a clean chit to State Revenue Minister Eknath Khadse and his staff members in a graft case being probed by the agency, sources said his Officer on Special Duty (OSD), Unmesh Mahajan and Personal Secretary (PS) Shantaram Bhoir will be summoned soon for questioning in the case.
“While prima facie we didn’t find any merit in the claims made by the complainant against the minister and his staff members and in our status report submitted to the government we have opined the same, the statement of two of his staff members will be recorded so as to investigate the various references that were made by arrested accused Gajanan Patil during the 12 sting operations carried out against Patil,” a senior official from the agency told The Indian Express.
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Patil had referred to a ‘saheb’ he was close to and would be able to help the complainant owing to this proximity.
Earlier this month, the agency had trapped Gajanan Patil for allegedly demanding Rs 30 crore as bribe from the former Director of Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Ramesh Jadhav, for the allotment of a plot of land in Kalyan’s Nilje village.
“Though Patil posed as a PA to the minister, in reality he is not even a government servant and therefore Mahajan’s statement would be necessary to ascertain if Patil was bluffing or if he indeed had some connection to help the complainant bag the land in lieu of the bribe demanded by him,” said a senior official.
Once the statement of these two officials are recorded, the agency will file a chargesheet against Patil within 90 days of registering the case against him.
“Since Patil is a private person, a chargesheet against him will be filed under Section 8 of the Prevention of Corruption (PC) Act. Our probe has ascertained that he was not a staff member of the Minster and was a former sarpanch. Since he was not holding any public office, provisions of Section 8 of the Act will be invoked against him,” added the official.