Eknath Khadse land grab case: After ACB’s clean chit, activist Hemant Gavande may approach high court
City-based activist Hemant Gavande, on Wednesday, said that he has sought a copy of the report that Pune anti-corruption bureau (ACB), which is probing Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) land deal case against former revenue minister Eknath Khadse, has submitted in court even as the former BJP minister expressed confidence of getting ‘clean chit’.
The ACB submitted its 22-page report pertaining to the FIR against Khadse regarding alleged irregularities in connection with purchase of MIDC land near Pune on April 27, a year after the agency filed a case against Khadse, his wife Mandakini, son-in-law Girish Chaudhary and Abbas Ukani, original owner of the land, in the matter.
“We have filed the 22-page report in ACB court in Pune. Since the matter is subjudice, I cannot reveal the contents of the report,” said Sandeep Diwan, superintendent of police (ACB).
Based on the complaint filed by Pune-based activist and builder Hemant Gavande, ACB had filed a case under the Prevention of Corruption Act and the Indian Penal Code at the Bund Garden police station.
Gavande said that he has already sought a certified copy from the court, following which he will decide on whether to approach the high court or not.
Even as ACB has submitted its report, the Pune court is yet to pass an order, said an ACB official, on terms of anonymity.
Reacting to the reports, Khadse said he is happy about the ‘clean chit’ given to him by ACB. “For two years, I faced various baseless allegations. Finally, I have learnt that the probing agency has filed its report in the court saying there were no irregularities committed by me or my family,” Khadse said.
The BJP leader said he is happy that the party and other leaders stood by him during the difficult time. “There were very few people who went against me, but there were many from my party who supported me,” added Khadse.
In his complaint, Gavande had alleged that Khadse, as the then revenue minister, had purchased a three-acre plot at Bhosari in Pune. The plot, which was originally owned by MIDC, was bought by Khadse in the name of his kin for Rs 3.75 crore as against the market price of Rs 40 crore, Gavande alleged.
Following the allegations, Khadse had quit the Devendra Fadnavis ministry in June 2016. Besides the ACB case, the state government had set up a judicial commission, headed by retired justice Dinkar Zoting, to probe the allegations against Khadse in the matter. Zoting Committee has also submitted its report, the contents of which have not been made public by the government.
After ACB’s report, Gavande said, “I have no idea about the report nor I am aware of the contents. Ideally, ACB should have informed me about the report as the FIR was filed based on my complaint.”