Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday asked the Maharashtra government to be more proactive in probing into the complaint filed against state cabinet minister Sunil Tatkare, by BJP MP Kirit Somaiya for alleged money laundering and land grabbing, after observing that such cases of amassing wealth need to be investigated.
A division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and S C Gupte directed the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB), Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Collector of Raigad where Tatkare owns agriculture land to continue its enquiry into the allegations and submit a report on August 14.
The bench was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Somaiya seeking probe by a special investigation team into alleged money laundering and land grabbing by various companies floated by Tatkare and his family.
Advocate General Darius Khambata today submitted reports of ACB and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the city police and said certain allegations of money laundering can be looked into only by the ED and the source of funds will have to be enquired into by the Income Tax department.
After perusing the reports, Justice Chandrachud said, "The report is not saying that the allegations are frivolous. But we expect the investigating agencies to now be more proactive. When a minister of the state cabinet amasses such wealth then it is a matter of investigation."
The court was, however, irked with a letter sent by the Collector of Raigad stating that he has asked his Tehsildar to look into the allegations that Tatkare owns a company constructed on agricultural land.
"The Collector seems to be in the burden of investigating against a very senior functionary of the government. But he cannot delegate this to a Tehsildar. Tomorrow, the Tehsildar will say he has asked his peon to probe the allegations. The Collector has not taken serious cognisance of the issue and we expect him to apply his mind," the court said.