Teams of the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on Monday conducted searches at 21 places across Mumbai and Pune in the land grabbing case, which were highlighted by RTI activist Satish Shetty, before he was murdered in 2010.
According to CBI sources, the searches were conducted at offices and residential premises of Virendra Mhaiskar, MD of IRB infrastructure, Deepak Gadgil of Aryan infrastructures (a subsidiary of IRB), along with several other people connected to the case.
A case was registered based on directions by the Bombay high court.
Last year, the CBI had filed a closure report in Shetty’s murder, but the high court permitted a re-investigation into the activist’s complaint in the land-grabbing case, saying it was “in the interest of justice”. The CBI had asked for permission to take over the probe saying that it was probably related to the activist’s murder.
According to the Delhi Police Establishment Act, the CBI can take over any investigation provided the order to that effect is passed either by a high court or a state government. In October 2009, Shetty had filed a complaint with the Lonavla city police against 13 people, including Mhaiskar and a sub-registrar alleging land grab.
He had alleged that land acquired by the government for the Mumbai-Pune Expressway, for which compensation was paid, was re-sold by the original owners to Aryan Infrastructure and Investment — an IRB Group company.
Sandeep Shetty, Satish’s brother, had filed an affidavit in the Bombay high court alleging his brother had received threats from certain private companies, including IRB. He claimed his brother had lodged a complaint with the local crime branch about the land scam. However, the police has not taken any action.