A senior member of the Highrise Building Committee was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Bureau for accepting a bribe of Rs 15 lakh for issuing a No Objection Certificate. Sailesh R Mahimtura (56) was arrested along with Jahambin Jumatia alias Saju and Kamal Dhuri, who collected the bribe on his behalf.
Deputy Inspector General (DIG), ACB, Niket Kaushik told Hindustan Times the Highrise Building Committee was formed by the Urban Development Department to issue NoCs for the construction of any building above 21 floors.
It consists of experts from various fields — engineers from IIT Bombay, structural consultants, fire experts, architects — who conduct a feasibility study for the proposed building before issuing the NoC. Mahimtura is a structural consultant.
The complainant is a Matunga-based developer, who had plans to construct a high-rise in the area.
On April 9, he applied to the committee for the NoC. On April 23, four members of the committee — Tarun Kant, Shantilal Jain, Chowdhary and Uday Tatkare (BMC chief fire officer) met the developer at the latter's flat at Matunga.
Chowdhary, a BMC employee, allegedly told the developer he should meet Mahimtura to get the NoC. On April 30, the complainant met Mahimtura at his office. Mahimtura allegedly agreed to issue the NoC for a Rs 30 lakh bribe.
When the complainant told Mahimtura he has seven such projects, he agreed to clear them for a Rs one crore bribe. Mahimtura allegedly asked the complainant to pay Rs 30 lakh to Saju for the proposed project.
The complainant then lodged a written complaint with the ACB on May 11. On the ACB’s instruction, the complainant agreed to pay Rs 15 lakh as first instalment of the bribe.
On Monday, Mahimtura’s associates, Jumatia and Dhuri came to the developer's house to collect the amount. As soon as the cash was handed over, the ACB sleuths caught the two. Mahimtura was subsequently arrested.