HC raps ACB, EOW over probe in Tatkare case
Mumbai: The state Anti Corruption Bureau and Economic Offences Wing Tuesday came under the ire of Bombay High Court for not conducting a "fair and proper" probe into allegations of money laundering and land grabbing against Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Sunil Tatkare.
"There has been no investigation at all. We are very sorry to say that nothing has been done. Complete failure on the part of EOW and ACB. This is not a fair investigation. Apathy on part of the state agencies is very clear. The position of the person (Tatkare) in public domain is deflecting the fairness in the inquiry," a division bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M S Sonak said.
The court`s comments came after perusing probe reports submitted by the two investigating agencies last week in a public interest litigation filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.
"Every page of the report lacks proper application of mind. Prima facie the investigating agencies have virtually abdicated its duty to investigate fairly on the ground that the investigations will have to be done by the Income Tax department, the Enforcement Directorate and the Registrar of Companies," the court said.
"This in our view would be no justification for the agency to walk away from its obligation to conduct a fair probe," the court said directing the agencies to complete their investigation within three months and submit a final report by January 7, 2014.
"If at that stage the court is not satisfied with the probe then the court would be compelled to consider handing over investigation to another agency like the CBI," the court said.
The bench observed that the ACB in its report has said that since the allegations involve companies, the Registrar of Companies will have to first conduct an inquiry. "The ACB report has not tried to find out what is the financial standing of Tatkare and his family members. No explanation about where the money has come from," the court said.
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