MIDC land deal: ACB submits report, Khadse confident of coming out clean

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said if the ACB has given a clean chit to Khadse in its report, then it is a welcome move.


Pune, May 1 (PTI) The Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has submitted a detailed report in a Pune court in connection with the case of alleged irregularities in the purchase of the MIDC land near here involving former Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse, officials said.

However, the ACB refused to divulge details of the report, even as Khadse exuded the confidence of coming out clean in the probe.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said in Mumbai that they will have to see whether the court accepts the report or not.

After an investigation into the case, the Pune Police’s ACB submitted the report to the ACB court here.

When contacted, ACB’s Superintendent of Police Sandeep Diwan today said, “The report was submitted to the court on April 27. It is a detailed investigation report running into 22 pages.”

However, Diwan refused to give any details of the report saying the matter was sub-judice.

A Pune-based businessman, Hemant Gawande, had in May 2016 filed a complaint with the Bund Garden police here in the matter.

He had alleged that Khadse misused his power as a minister and purchased a land in Pune’s Bhosari area, owned by Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), in the name of his relatives at Rs 3.75 crore as against the market price of Rs 40 crore.

Based on the complaint, the Pune ACB had registered an FIR against Khadse, his wife, son-in-law and the original landowner, Abbas Ukkani, under relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 109 of the Indian Penal Code in April last year.

Khadse had resigned in June 2016 after he was accused of using his post as the revenue minister to facilitate the land deal in favour of his wife and son-in-law.

When contacted today, Khadse said, “Ever since the allegations were made against me, I was confident that I will come out clean in all these allegations. In this case, also, I am confident that the ACB’s report will not have anything against me.”

Talking to reporters at the Sahyadri Guest House in Mumbai, Fadnavis confirmed that the ACB has submitted its report to the court.

“The ACB report has been submitted to the court in Pune. We will have to see whether the court accepts it or not,” he said.

Revenue Minister Chandrakant Patil said if the ACB has given a clean chit to Khadse in its report, then it is a welcome move.

“I have not personally verified the details of the ACB report on former minister and BJP leader Eknath Khadse. I am aware of the fact that Khadse has gone through several hardships during the investigation,” he said.

Asked whether Khadse would return to the cabinet, Patil said, “Let the court first decide on it…But if Khadse comes out clean, I will be very happy, just like many other BJP workers.”

“He (Khadse) has been a major support for the party and people. Whenever allegations are made, one has to face the inquiry. The BJP has also given a strong message that it carries out inquiries against its ministers whenever any charges are levelled,” he said.

To a query on State Congress chief Ashok Chavan expressing scepticism over the inquiry against Khadse, Patil said, “Chavan should refrain from commenting on each and every topic. Let him first come out clean in the court cases against himself.”

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