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How long Bhujbal will languish in jail?

NCP leader and former deputy Chief Minister of Maharasthra Chhagan Bhujbal has filed for bail in the money laundering case under Section 439 of CrPC before Ld. Session Judge A.N. Sirsikar in the Court of Session.  The seventy year old Bhujbal has been in judicial custody since 17th March 2016. Prosecution complaint (chargesheet) was filed on 27th April 2016. All the other 31 accused in the said PMLA matter have been granted bail. Since, the investigation is complete and a voluminous Prosecution Complaint running into more than 10,000 pages is filed, there is no need for custody of Bhujbal, as there is no possibility of tampering with record or evidence.

His nephew Sameer Bhujbal was also arrested in the same PMLA case on 1st February, 2016 and during that period Chhagan Bhujbal was in United State of America. However, he returned as per schedule and was present before the office of Enforcement Directorate on first summons and did not evade investigation and therefore, there is no likelihood of his absconding or evading the trial.

There is nothing on record to show that any person including K. S. Chamankar or any other beneficiary of any PWD contract or anyone else has paid any money directly or indirectly to Bhujbal.

Anti-Corruption Bureau has registered a case concerning illegalities in the project of Maharashtra Sadan on the basis of a valuation report prepared by one Architect Shirish Sukhatme who had blindly assigned same rate to open land, built up area and super built up area without considering the fact that not a single square inch of FSI has been allotted to K.S. Chamankar Enterprises till date.

The decisions of award of such contracts was taken by Cabinet Infrastructure Committee which was headed by the then Chief Minister along with Ministers and Secretaries of various departments such as Finance, Revenue, Law and Judicial, SRA, RTO etc. who actively participated in the process to arrive at a joint decision. However, Bhujbal was isolated and persecuted for a decision of entire cabinet, whereas he had no role either in selection of the developer (selected as per SRA norms by the Slum Dwellers in 1998-1999) or in determining the quantum of benefit to be conferred upon the developer (valued as per SRA norms and approved by Finance Department).

In Bhujbal’s case departmental note of ACB, wherein permission was sought to register an FIR on the basis of fabricated report of Sirish Sukhatme is dated 4th June 2015 whereas the report came into existence and was submitted to ACB only on 9th June 2015. ACB also sought clarification from PWD about alleged legality in the Maharashtra Sadan Project. A report of Deshbhratar Committee (headed by retired Dy. General Inspector of Police) Mr. Himmatrao Deshbhratar also gave a clean chit to the entire project of Maharashtra Sadan, however the said letter was suppressed by ACB.

In fact, before the grant of Composite Contract of Maharashtra Sadan, it was decided that the new Maharashtra Sadan at Delhi should be constructed by a private developer but the same could not be completed due to shortage of funds with State of Maharashtra. A tabular comparison will demonstrate the effective governance in executing the project of new Maharashtra Sadan during the PWD minister ship of Bhujbal

Many other persons who were accused in huge financial scams of more than thousands of crores of rupees such as 2G, NSEL etc. have been granted bail. The hearing of bail is likely to commence soon.

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