Social activist Anjali Damania has filed an appeal in a court in Pune against a report filed by the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) which had said that it has not found any concrete evidence of financial irregularities by former BJP minister Eknath Khadse and others in connection with a land deal in Bhosari.
Acting on the orders of the Bombay High Court, the ACB had booked Khadse, former revenue minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, his wife Mandakini Khadse, son-in-law Girish Chaudhary and others in April 2017 in connection with allegations made by Pune-based realtor Hemant Gawande.
In his complaint to the Bundgarden police on May 30, 2016, Gawande had alleged that Khadse misused his power as a minister and purchased land in Bhosari area, owned by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), in the name of his wife and son-in-law at the cost of Rs 3.75 crore, as against the market price of Rs 40 crore. He had also moved the court in this regard.
In last week of April, the ACB submitted a report in Pune court, saying it has found nothing to substantiate that Khadse “misused his power and position as a minister” in the case. The ACB has reportedly also ruled out that the state exchequer suffered loss of revenue as a result of the deal. A hearing on the report is pending in the court.
Damania on Monday moved a protest petition before a court in Pune, in which she has cited two rulings by the Supreme Court that has guaranteed citizens the right to challenge any such report by investigating agency.
“My first complaint to the ACB in 2017 had given extensive details about the involvement of Khadse in the Bhosari land scam. My complaint had the money trail as well all other necessary clues for the ACB to follow but they had chosen to ignore it,” she said. Damania added that the petition had challenged the report on grounds that it has not taken into account the details provided by her, including specific bank transactions.
Damania was one of the first ones to raise the red flag over the alleged involvement of Khadse in the Bhosari land deal. The former Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader had even embarked on a fast, seeking Khadse’s removal from the cabinet. Multiple defamation suits have been filed by supporters of Khadse against Damania, which are pending before various courts in the state.