The Bombay high court on Wednesday suggested the Maharashtra anti-corruption bureau not to shut down its probe into five separate allegations against former public works department minister Chhagan Bhujbal, relating to irregularities in awarding contracts.
The high court’s suggestion came after the state ACB told the court it will end its inquiry into the five complaints.
Of the nine allegations against Bhujbal and his relatives, advocate general Anil Singh told the HC FIRs were registered for three, and one falls under the enforcement directorate’s purview. There will be no investigations into the remaining five, Singh first told the court.
The division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and justice AK Menon, however, pointed out the probe into an allegation that Bhujbal received a kickback of Rs10 crore from a contractor in 2010 was closed on the basis of unregistered agreements that showed the amount had been returned the next year. The judges said the agency should have investigated if these documents were genuine. Singh also requested the court to extend the deadline for completing investigation to October 31.
Senior advocate Shrihari Ane, who represented Bhujbal, objected to the court’s suggestion, contending that it could be taken as a directive.