Seven months after the arrest of Chief Post Master General (CPMG) of Maharashtra and Goa for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2 crore to issue a no-objection certificate (NOC), the other parties involved in the case have approached the Bombay High Court. Landowners Radhesham and Sharda Trivedi and the developer — M/s Pravin Builders — have filed a petition stating that after the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) arrested suspended CPMG Manjit Singh Bali, their NOC was also withdrawn.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) arrested Bali on February 25, for allegedly taking a bribe of Rs 2 crore for issuing a no objection certificate (NOC) for construction of a post office in Thane district. Immediately after Bali was arrested, GR Nagrate, assistant director, Postal Service II, cancelled the NOC, ostensibly because developers had filed a bribery complaint with the ACB, said Praful Shah, counsel for the petitioners, adding that Nagrate’s name also figured in the FIR.
The petition further alleges that the NOC was cancelled only because the landowners and the developer had dared to lodge a complaint with the CBI, ACB.
“The action of assistant director, Postal Service, suffers from vice of malice and was apparently initiated with malafide intention,” said Shah, who sought quashing of the letter issued by Nagrate, which canceled the NOC to develop the land in question.
According to the petition, one of the conditions for allowing development on a plot reserved for post office was that 25 per cent of the area must be left for the government, and that they were ready to construct 500 square metres of land free of cost for the postal department.
A division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice RV More on Wednesday asked the Maharashtra government and the post office to file their replies within two weeks.