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HC allows CBI to re-investigate slain RTI activist’s complaint

Bombay High Court

Bombay-High-Court-Mumbai-1Mumbai: Observing that it was in the interest of justice, the Bombay High Court today allowed CBI to re-investigate the complaint of alleged land-grab filed by slain RTI activist Satish Shetty against Virendra Mhaiskar, Chairman and Managing Director of Ideal Road Builders (IRB) Infrastructure Developers Limited.

Justices V M Kanade and P D Kode were hearing a petition filed by CBI seeking to take over the probe in the land grab case on the ground that it could be related to the activist’s murder.

CBI, which is probing the murder of the RTI activist, had approached the government in March this year saying they should be allowed to take over the probe in Shetty’s complaint against Mhaiskar.

CBI also filed a petition in the HC praying that they should be handed over the probe in Shetty’s complaint as well.

“CBI has sought permission to conduct a fresh probe, saying that the investigation by the local police is faulty,” argued CBI counsel Hiten Venegaonkar.

The government has been informing the high court that they would soon decide whether the case should be handed over to the central agency. The government pleader today sought some more time as the government has still not decided whether to hand over the probe to CBI.

Not satisfied with this, the judges said they are asking CBI to re-investigate the case.

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

Shetty had alleged 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.

However, the local police filed a closure report in September 2011 saying the police did not find any evidence to substantiate Shetty’s allegations. The high vourt had set aside the closure report and asked the Judicial Magistrate First Class to consider the same afresh.

The JMFC set aside the closure report in March and asked the local police to conduct a fresh investigation. However, once again the police closed the case.

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


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