Mumbai: Days after the Ajit Pawar-led faction broke off from the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and he was sworn in as the deputy chief minister, the state Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Monday closed nine cases in the irrigation scam, in which the deputy chief minister is alleged to have played a major role. However, ACB officials confirmed that none of the nine cases involved him.
ACB officials added that these were routine cases that could be reopened for investigation in case of fresh evidence. They also confirmed that they were investigating a series of tenders of the Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation in connection with the various projects undertaken by it. At least 2,654 tenders in 45 projects were part of the investigation, following two Public Interest Litigations (PILs) that were filed before the Nagpur bench of the Bombay high court.
The statement issued by the ACB read: “We have completed probing 212 tenders so far, and 24 cases had been registered pertaining to them with charge-sheets filed in five. We have also closed the open enquiry into 45 tenders as no offence was found during the enquiry. In all 28 instances, administrative lapses were found, in which departmental enquiries against the concerned officials have been recommended.”
The ACB reiterated that the nine closures issued Monday were part of the 45 enquiries that were closed. The same had been recommended by the respective ACB units that were probing them over the past five months, ACB officials said.
The ACB confirmed that all 24 cases filed in connection with the PILs were under investigation and none had been closed.