The Pune land scam, in which forged documents were used to avoid surrendering excess land to the government under the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCA), could spell trouble for a few government officers and a former minister of state.
The Bombay high court on Tuesday directed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to form a five-member special investigation team (SIT) to probe the scam, which the Hindustan Times first reported on October 15, 2010, and the role of former minister of state for urban development and current city Bharatiya Janata Party chief, Raj Purohit, in it.
"Extraordinary circumstances call for extraordinary orders and the case is not only extraordinary but also unprecedented," the court said.
It also directed the agency to lodge a first information report against Purohit and government officers whose names have been mentioned in an investigation report by former bureaucrat Sudhakar Joshi.
Purohit had passed orders in 20 cases in his capacity as an appellate authority between 1996 and 1999 when he headed the urban development department in the Shiv Sena-BJP government. Joshi, in his probe, found faults with 19 of these.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by Purohit's colleague in the BJP, Madhav Bhandari.