With video cameras and witnesses, Maharashtra ACB raids 16 Bhujbal properties | mumbai | Hindustan Times
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With video cameras and witnesses, Maharashtra ACB raids 16 Bhujbal properties

A special investigating team of Maharashtra's ACB on Tuesday searched 16 offices and homes that belong to senior NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer. The properties span Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik.

mumbai Updated: Jun 16, 2015 20:13 IST
Pratik Salunke
NCP-leader-Chhagan-Bhujbal-arrives-for-the-budget-session-of-Maharashtra-legislature-at-Vidhan-Bhavan-in-Mumbai--Kunal-Patil-HT-photo
NCP-leader-Chhagan-Bhujbal-arrives-for-the-budget-session-of-Maharashtra-legislature-at-Vidhan-Bhavan-in-Mumbai--Kunal-Patil-HT-photo

A special investigating team of Maharashtra's Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Tuesday searched 16 offices and homes that belong to senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer. The properties span Mumbai, Thane, Pune and Nashik.

NCP leaders rallied behind the Bhujbals and said the party would challenge the ACB’s actions in court. Senior party leader Madhukar Pichad termed the ACB searches an “act of vendetta”.

The raids come days after the ACB filed two first-information reports (FIRs) against Bhujbal and five others – one over the awarding of a contracts to build the new Maharashtra Sadan in Delhi, and the other concerning irregularities in the allotment of a plot of land in Kalina. And on June 13, the Navi Mumbai police filed an FIR against Bhujbal, his son and nephew for allegedly cheating people who had invested in a housing project at Khaghar.

Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis on Tuesday said that there was no political vendetta in the FIR filed against NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam.

"An FIR has been filed by the anti-corruption bureau and the raids are part of the investigation. The probe is monitored by the High Court and hence, there is no question of political interference. There is no political vendetta," Fadnavis said in Mumbai.

In the ACB cases, the accused could face action under the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988, and the bureau is making sure it has a strong case by video-recording every search in the presence of two witnesses.

“Bhujbal will be given an opportunity to have his say. We will verify the details of the properties. Based on the investigations, further actions will be decided,” said a high-ranking ACB officer, who did not wish to be named.

The ACB constituted the special investigation team last year – following a Bombay high court order on a public interest litigation – to investigate the Maharashtra Sadan contract and other cases.

(With PTI inputs)