THE FIRST chargesheet in the irrigation scam in Vidarbha was filed against six persons, including former Officer on Special Duty to Union Minister Nitin Gadkari Sanjay Kholapurkar, in the special Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) court here Saturday.
The 6,434-page chargesheet submitted in the court of special ACB judge K G Rathi has fixed the liability for corruption in the Ghodazari canal work of Gosikhurd irrigation project way back in 2007. The chargesheet names five persons, who were then officials of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation, and partner Nisar Fateh Mohammad Khatri of FA Constructions, Mumbai. The officials are former Executive Director of VIDC Rohidas Landge, then chief engineer Sopan Suryawanshi, then superintending engineer Sanjay Kholapurkar, then executive engineer Ramesh Wardhane and senior divisional accounts officer Gurudas Mandavkar.
In February, the ACB had registered offences against seven persons that had not included Landge and Kholapurkar. It, however, had included four partners of FA Constructions — Nisar Khatri’s father Fateh Mohammad Khatri, mother Jaitun Fateh Khatri and brothers Abid and Jahid. They were let off by the High Court after it accepted their contention that they had given the power of attorney to Nisar.
“That is why the chargesheet didn’t name them,” investigating officer Milind Totre said.
“Landge, Kholapurkar and Mandavkar were found to be responsible for causing a loss of
Rs 7,38,60,000 to the state government by giving a rebate of up to 15 per cent instead of the permitted 5 per cent in the tender update process that is carried out before court order. Kholapurkar recommended the hike, Landge accepted it and Mandavkar consented to it,” Totre said.