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Maharashtra CM vows to end extortion of builders

Published : Dec 19, 2015, 7:14 am IST
Updated : Dec 19, 2015, 7:14 am IST

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that several gangs comprising politicians and government officers are rampantly extorting money from builders in all municipal corporations in the state

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday said that several gangs comprising politicians and government officers are rampantly extorting money from builders in all municipal corporations in the state. Replying to a calling attention motion, Mr Fadnavis said that the case of Thane-based builder Suraj Parmar, who committed suicide recently, was not an isolated case. He vowed to finish all such gangs for “once and for all”.

Parmar had committed suicide on October 7, 2015. He also left a suicide note in which he said that politicians and municipal officers had withheld permissions to his projects even after having taken huge bribes and were demanding more money from him. Four corporators from Thane have been arrested in connection with this case. Several MLAs from Shiv Sena and BJP had moved the motion on the issue.

Replying to it, the CM informed the house that the suicide note and a diary of Parmar recovered by the police and forensic report had proved that both have been written by the same person.

To a question raised by BJP MLA Atul Bhatkhalkar, the CM admitted that Parmar’s diary has several initials, names of government department and officers and there are entries of the money paid to them.

The CM also admitted that it was found that Rs 1 crore were transferred from the bank account of Najib Mulla, one of the accused corporators, to the account of NCP MLA Jitendra Awhad. However, he also clarified that so far no case has been registered against him and the investigation is still on.

“There are several names and initials in the diary. But police will not act against anyone without proper evidence. I have instructed the police to handle the case sensibly. No action will be taken because of political vendetta and nobody will be spared if he is involved,” the CM said.

Mr Fadnavis further pointed that in the Jain Hawala case, the Supreme Court has decided that nobody can be held guilty only because his name appears in any dairy and there has to be a corroborative evidence to support the case. He also clarified that though there are several entries in the diary, the diary was written one to one and half years ago.

BJP MLA Anil Gote demanded application of MCOCA in the case and formation of Special Investigation Team to investigate the case. However, the CM ruled out formation of SIT and said that applicability of MCOCA in the case will be verified.

Leader of opposition Radharkishna Vikhe-Patil said that the cost of construction goes up because of the corruption and it also impacts the government’s policy of providing affordable housing.

Agreeing with Mr Vikhe-Patil, the CM said, “There are gangs operating in all municipal corporations. Even completely legal projects are stalled. I have decided to finish all such gangs for once an all. The police have been given instructions to look into this aspect also.”

Further informing about the steps taken by the government to stop corruption in giving permissions to developers, the CM said, “The entire process will be brought on the e-platform, which will remove human intervention. Development Control Rules will be made objective, discretionary powers will be taken away from officers and the entire process will be made time-bound.”

Mr Fadnavis also said that it was made compulsory from the last year for all municipal officers to make a public disclosure of their assets and a review will be taken at the end of this year to find out how many officers have followed it.

“The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation has drafted a system, which will make entire process transparent. Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and I will inaugurate it in a few days. The system will be implemented in all municipal corporations,” the CM said.

Location: India, Maharashtra, Nagpur