Bombay HC seeks police reply on closure report on land deals
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked Maharashtra Government to file an affidavit within a week explaining on what basis it had filed a closure report in a case of alleged forgery and cheating in land deals exposed by murdered whistle-blower Satish Shetty.
On what basis have you (police) come to conclusion that no offences have been attracted under IPC in this case, asked Judge ML Tahiliyani.
The court was hearing a petition moved by CBI seeking to quash a Magistrate`s order accepting the closure report filed by police. The Central agency sought reinvestigation into alleged bogus land deals.
CBI Counsel HR Venegaonkar said huge tracts of land were acquired by the State Government from villagers near Lonavala for Mumbai-Pune Expressway, which became operational in 2002. However, these land0073 were fraudulently sold in bogus deals by IRB Developers, he said.
The Judge asked the Government to file an affidavit explaining how the officers had concluded the probe and filed a C-summary (closure report).
The court asked the State to include in the affidavit the details on "sale deeds" of the land acquired by them, revenue records and letters from revenue authorities in respect of these transactions.
The Judge also took on record the case dairies.
CBI argued that once the land was acquired by the Government for the highway project and compensation paid to the villagers, the property was vested in the State and could not be given away or returned to the original owners.
The agency pleaded that entries in 7/12 extracts (a revenue document of land ownership) were interpreted to mean the land was returned to the villagers and IRB purchased the same from them through bogus sale deeds.
The police closed the case by filing a C-summary report in a court at Lonavala in Pune district. It concluded that the deals did not attract offences under IPC because they were made between the parties due to "misunderstanding" that the land had been returned to the villagers, CBI said.
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