Nearly a month after the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) requested the state home department for sanction to initiate a probe into public work department minister Chhagan Bhujbal's role in the alleged Maharashtra Sadan scam, the state has not taken any action on the issue.
The ACB had written to the state after BJP leader Kirit Somaiya, on August 11, complained to the ACB alleging irregularities in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan, the state government's headquarters in Delhi. A senior state official confirmed that the letter had been received, but is now pending with home minister RR Patil.
Speaking to HT on Thursday, Raj Khilnani, director general of the ACB, confirmed that the bureau had sought sanction. "We had written to the government almost a month ago. The feedback [sanction] is still awaited," he said.
Somaiya had alleged that the tender for the redevelopment of Maharashtra Sadan was not advertised, but given to a close associate of Bhujbal, and the cost of the project had been inflated three times, to nearly Rs150 crore.
In a PIL filed on September 4, Somaiya had also questioned the development proposal given to private developer KS Chamankar for the Maharashtra Sadan makeover and the RTO at Andheri, in lieu of incentive of floor space index (FSI) to a slum rehabilitation project (SRA) in Andheri.
The BJP alleged that the financial gains to Chamankar through the SRA project cannot be compared to the cost for revamping the state headquarters and the RTO. Bhujbal had however refuted the charges, pointing out the project had been cleared by a cabinet sub-committee, led by the chief minister, and was transparent.
"The state government is not taking any initiative in giving the ACB investigation a go-ahead. We are sure that this scam is has benefited parties by nearly Rs1,000 crore. The next step is to ask for them to be booked under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA)," said BJP spokesperson Madhav Bhandari.
RR Patil was not available for comment.