In trouble for Maharashtra's former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and top NCP leaders Sunil Tatkare and Chhagan Bhujbal, chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday gave a go-ahead for probe against them in an alleged corruption case.
The state's anti-corruption bureau has been asked to institute 'open inquiries' against Pawar and state NCP president Sunil Tatkare in connection with alleged corruption and irregularities in execution of various irrigation projects during their tenure as water resource ministers.
The CM also gave his approval to ACB's proposal to conduct an open inquiry into allegations of corruption and favouritism against former public works department minister Chhagan Bhujbal in construction of Maharashtra Sadan in New Delhi and two other government buildings in Mumbai built under Private Public Partnership.
The government has also ordered probe against irrigation department officials and contractors responsible for alleged irregularities.
"I have been authorised by chief minister of maharashtra to state that he has cleared open inquiries by ACB against Ajit Pawar, Sunil Tatkare and Chhagan Bhujbal," advocate general Sunil Manohar told the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court.
Manohar said Fadnavis had asked the ACB to go ahead with probe against the three top NCP leaders in the alleged scams in which several thousand crores of rupees were siphoned off with the connivance of greedy contractors and pliant officials.
A division bench of the court comprising justice Bhushan Gavai and justice VM Deshpande recorded his statement and disposed of PILs demanding investigation.
"When big-wigs are being probed along with officials and contractors, there is no point in keeping these petitions pending," the court observed while making it clear that petitioners can always approach it again, if they are not satisfied with the inquiry.