The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state Anti-Corruption Bureau and Enforcement Directorate to continue its inquiry against former minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his family members for alleged money laundering and land grabbing.
The direction was passed by a division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice A K Menon despite the two investigating agencies informing the court that they have closed inquiries against Bhujbal into five allegations out of total nine, due to lack of evidence.
The court after perusing the reports submitted by ACB and ED pointed out that there is scope for further inquiry.
The court has granted time to ACB till October 31 and to ED till December 31 to complete their probe.
Senior counsel Shrihari Aane, appearing for Bhujbal, raised an objection to this and said the court cannot pass such a direction when the agencies have already given closure on five allegations.
Out of the nine allegations, FIRs have been filed by the ACB on two allegations regarding the Maharashtra Sadan scam and Kalina land grabbing case.
Another case has been registered by the Navi Mumbai police concerning a housing project scam wherein Rs 44 crores were collected from over 2,000 people for houses in a project ‘Hex World’, promoted by a realty firm owned by the Bhujbal family.
The High Court had on December 18, 2014, directed setting up of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) comprising the ACB and ED to probe into nine different allegations of irregularities relating to money laundering by private companies run by Bhujbal, his sons and relatives.
The direction was passed on a PIL filed by Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) seeking registration of FIR against Bhujbal.