Bhujbal probe: Maha ACB recovers documents from govt rest house

 Maharashtra ACB, which is probing the graft allegations against former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal in the construction of new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, has stumbled upon a bunch of documents which may be connected the case.

Mumbai: Maharashtra ACB, which is probing the graft allegations against former Maharashtra minister Chhagan Bhujbal in the construction of new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, has stumbled upon a bunch of documents which may be connected the case.

The Special Investigation Team (SIT) conducting the probe is examining if these documents, recovered from a locked room in a government rest house here, are linked to alleged irregularities in the construction of the building.

Acting on a tip off, a room at the government rest house in Bandra's Kalanagar area was yesterday searched out, a senior official from the SIT team said today on condition of anonymity.

The room which had been locked for long, was unlocked with the help of PWD officials. The search has yielded in seizure of eight plastic bags containing PWD documents, files, registers, mobile phones and a CD besides some alcohol bottles.

The ACB, however, said that it did not want to jump the gun by making a statement that the seized documents and material have links with the ongoing probe.

Director General of Police (ACB) Pravin Dixit said, "We, along with the PWD officials, will scrutinise the papers first. Only after thorough examination, we will be in a position to say if they have relevance to the inquiry."

In December last year, the state government gave its nod to ACB's proposal to conduct an open inquiry into allegations of corruption and favouritism against Bhujbal in construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and two other government buildings in Mumbai built under Private Public Partnership.

The Sadan was inaugurated in 2013.

Subsequently, an SIT was formed to look into the matter.

Under Bhujbal as PWD Minister, the government had entered into an agreement with a contractor for building three structures - the Maharashtra Sadan (state's official guest house in Delhi Lutyens' zone), another state guest house (High Mount) at Malabar Hill, and a new administrative building and residential quarters for the Regional Transport Office at Andheri - on PPP basis.

Bhujbal has faced accusations of misusing his official position in awarding the contract for Maharashtra Sadan to an associate not known to be a contractor capable of executing such projects. The cost of the project had also reportedly escalated several times over original estimates.

BJP leader Kirit Somaiya had approached ACB seeking an inquiry against Bhujbal, alleging his friends and family-owned companies were involved in several non-transparent and corrupt transactions, using a web of firms to park the money earned through illegal means.

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