HC seeks government reply on CBI plea for probe in land grab plaint

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The Bombay High Court has directed Maharashtra government to reply to a petition of CBI seeking to take over probe in the complaint of alleged land grab filed by RTI activist Satish Shetty, before he was murdered, against IRB chairman and managing director Virendra Mhaiskar.

CBI, which is probing the murder case of Shetty, approached the High Court seeking permission to take over probe into Shetty’s complaint after a magistrate court in Maval set aside the closure report filed by the local police in the case in September 2011.

CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar said on March 18 that the magistrate set aside the closure report, thereby asking the local police to re-investigate Shetty’s complaint afresh.

Following this, CBI filed a petition before the High Court seeking to probe the complaint filed by Shetty against Mhaiskar as it could be linked to the RTI activist’s murder.

A division bench of Justices N H Patil and A M Thipsay on March 28 directed the government to file its reply to CBI’s petition and posted the matter for hearing on April 4.

In October 2009, Shetty filed a complaint with the Lonavla city police against 13 people, including Mhaiskar and a sub-registrar alleging 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.

Shetty had alleged that IRB and its subsidiary companies, in collusion with bureaucrats, prepared fake documents regarding ownership of government land.

However, the local police filed a closure report in September 2011 saying that they did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty’s allegations.

Shetty was stabbed to death near his house in Talegaon on January 13, 2010, when he had stepped out for morning walk.