The Bombay high court on Tuesday restrained Shivaji Nagar police station at Pune from taking any further steps on an FIR lodged at the behest of former revenue minister Eknath Khadse against a local builder Hemant Gavande.
Gavande had earlier sought a CBI probe against Khadse in the MIDC land deal in which Khadse had allegedly purchased a plot near Bhosari in MIDC, Pune at a throwaway price of Rs3.75 crore when the market price of the land was Rs31 crore.
A bench comprising Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai issued the restraint order after noticing that though the FIR was registered by the dean of Mahatma Phule Agriculture College, on Khadse’s orders, the police had summoned the college authorities to register the FIR.
The court was hearing a petition filed by the builder wanting to quash of the FIR registered by the Shivaji Nagar police station on January 30, 2015 charging him and seven others for cheating, forgery and conspiring to usurp the college land.
It was alleged in the FIR that the builder and others conspired and created false documents with the help of revenue officials in respect of 3.48 hectare land at village Bopodi in Haveli tehsil, which is owned by the college. It also stated that they registered a false sale deed in favour of Gavande for a consideration of Rs7 crore.
Gavande stated that the allegations were predominantly of civil nature and no FIR could have been registered against him and the others on its basis. He also said that whether the agricultural college has any right to the land or not has to be first determined by a civil court where proceedings are pending. At the previous hearing, his lawyer advocate Subhash Jha argued that the police never wanted to register an FIR against him but did it at Khadse’s behest. He also said that there was an entry made in the station diary to this effect.
On Tuesday when the police failed to produce the station diary, Jha produced an extract of it obtained by his client under the Right to Information Act. After examining the extract, the judges noted that the diary mentioned that the police had issued a letter to the college authorities on the orders of the (then) cabinet minister. The extract also mentioned that Khadse ordered the police to ensure that the college authorities were present while the FIR against Gavande was being filed.