MUMBAI: In a major relief to real estate major Housing Development Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL ) and two senior government officials, the Bombay high court has stayed a recent sessions court order to file an FIR and initiate investigations against them for alleged irregularities in a Slum Rehabilitation Authority (SRA) project in Motilal Nagar slums in Bandra.
This is the third case registered by the anti-corruption bureau (ACB) in which probe has been stayed. Earlier, the HC had stayed investigations into an alleged BMC e-tendering scam and a complaint filed by constable Baban Jadhav against former police chief M N Singh and former joint commissioner of police Ahmad Javed.
TOI was first to report that ACB was in a fix over how to probe complaints against government servants on December 22.
On December 3, the sessions court directed the ACB to register an FIR against HDIL group chair man and its 10 directors, principal secretary (housing) Debashish Chakrabarty and principal secretary (woman and child development) Ujjwal Uke, after a shopkeeper filed a complaint under CrPC 156 (3). According to the complaint, the government officials, in connivance with HDIL, had allegedly forged documents and not allotted him a shop though he was eligible.The shopkeeper also alleged that they had fraudulently sold the plots to non-eligible members.
The high court recently stayed the probe after HDIL filed a writ petition challenging the validity of the FIR. The HC noted that two high-ranking government officials were among the petitioners. "In view of a Supreme Court judgment, prior sanction is required to be obtained from the competent authority before issuance of order directing investigations in a private complaint under Section 156(3) of the CrPC," said the bench of Justice Ranjit More and Justice Anuja Prabhudessai.
The HC then issued notices to the ACB and the complainant and asked them to appear before the court on January 19.