ACB may look into Chavan's role in regularising building
Mumbai: The state Anti Corruption Bureau is likely to look into the role of former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan in regularising a building which was allegedly constructed using fake documents, sources said.
An enquiry has already been initiated against diamond merchant and film producer Bharat Shah in the case.
"We have started an enquiry and an investigation is underway," said Raj Khilnani, the director of state ACB.
A senior officer said that the police may look into the role of Chavan in regularising the building.
When contacted, Chavan said, "I am not in Mumbai and don't know the issue and therefore I cannot comment."
According to the complaint filed with the ACB, a firm which belonged to Bharat Shah, bought a two-storeyed bungalow Jaikisan Niwas at Walkeshwar with only nine tenants.
However, when the firm applied for a no-objection certificate for redevelopment, it allegedly forged rent receipts and leave agreements and inflated the number of tenants to 48, to get higher FSI (floor space index).
In 1997, after obtaining NOC from MHADA, (Maharashtra housing area development authority) the firm constructed a 33-storeyed building.
Later, on receipt of many complaints, the vigilance department of MHADA conducted an enquiry and found that the company allegedly forged papers to show that there were 48 tenants.
In 2007, when MHADA ordered to take over all the 48 tenements, the firm challenged the order in the Bombay High Court. But the court refused to entertain the petition saying that the developer had failed to prove that there were 48 genuine tenants in the building.
It was at this time that the firm wrote to Chavan to find some amicable solution, the complaint mentioned.
Chavan then asked MHADA to review the case and submit a report to his office.
In a report, MHADA officers suggested that the firm be made to pay MHADA ready reckoner price for the apartments in the building.
However, Chavan allegedly used his discretionary powers to regularise the building by getting MHADA to impose only Rs 18 crore as penalty even as the worth of the building was several times the quantum of penalty imposed, resulting in a loss to the exchequer, according to the complaint.