Former minister of state for revenue Suresh Dhas seems to be in trouble over the graft case registered by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB), with the BJP government taking serious note of the case and announcing that strict action will be taken against the culprits.
Dhas, however, has denied any role in the case, claiming that he relinquished the office before the case was registered. As a quasi-judicial authority, Dhas had cleared the file related to the Parandwadi temple trust in Pune, allowing the complainant to take ownership of 18 acres of the trust land.
The complainant, who is in possession of the land, was reportedly asked to pay a bribe of Rs 23 lakh by an agent named Vaibhav Andhale, on behalf of revenue officers, to release the order. Andhale is believed to have acted on behalf of the former minister.
On the basis of the complaint, the ACB arrested Andhale on October 28, along with revenue officers Sanjay Suradkar and Devidas Dahifale.
Revenue minister Eknath Khadse said his department has taken a serious note of the graft case. “I have directed the secretary of the department to brief me about the facts of the case. Strict action will be taken after discussing this with chief minister Fadnavis,” he told HT.
Denying the allegations, Dhas said, “After the Assembly poll results were declared, I relinquished my official bungalow on October 26, and all the files were sent back to the respective departments much before that. The order in this particular case was issued three months before that, and there was no reason for my intervention. The files were with the officers in the revenue department. Though the agent is from my constituency, I do not know him and there are no official records proving our conversation. It is a political conspiracy against me.”