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Report says 29 people are involved in the scam
The ULC case came under the scanner in 2005
Pune: The probe into Pune Urban Land Ceiling (ULC) scam will stay with the CID. On Wednesday, a Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Deepak Verma and Justice Dalveer Bhandari stayed the Bombay High Court order, which on February 22 asked the CID to hand over the case to the CBI.
With the Supreme Court's order, some senior bureaucrats, whose names figured in the Sudhakar Joshi Committee report, have got a breather. Mr. Sudhakar Joshi headed the one-man committee formed in 2009 to look into the land scam, which has reportedly cost the State Government Rs. 300 crore.
The report submitted by him says 29 people are involved in the scam.
The High Court had ruled that no officer had been charge sheeted in the case yet.
The High Court order followed a petition filed by BJP's Madhav Bhandari who had stated that the Government was shielding its officers since the CID was under its control.
Subsequently, BJP leader Raj Purohit's name figured in the Joshi committee report. Asked whether he will object to the stay order, Mr Bhandari said: “I had filed the PIL and the Bombay High Court had passed an order. I have not got any order from the Supreme Court, so I will not be taking any action.”
The High Court had also ordered the CBI to form a Special Investigation Team (SIT) and file first information reports against those involved in the scam. It had noted that no official had yet been booked.
The CID had registered FIRs in four cases.
The CBI was to probe the remaining 29 cases. On Tuesday, the CBI was supposed to take charge from the CID, but did not do so until Thursday evening. Vidya Kulkarni, Superintendent of Police (CBI), had asked for five deputy collectors, five tahsildhars and 25 upper division clerks to assist the CBI in the investigation.
The CBI had also sought office space and computers for the SIT operation.
Additional Director-General of Police (CID) Madhav Karve said: “We have got the Supreme Court order, which states that operation of the impugned order shall remain stayed. Prior to this order, we were ready to give charge to CBI.”
Ms. Kulkarni refused to comment on the issue, stating that the CBI was still studying the order.
The ULC case came under the scanner in 2005, when it was noticed that fake ULC certificates were being issued, with a nexus between politicians and bureaucrats which helped private builders.
The fake certificates were issued to avoid surrendering excess land to the State Government, which was the norm according to the Urban Land Ceiling and Regulation Act (ULCRA), 1976. Under the Act, which was repealed in 2007, no individual was allowed to own more than 10,764 sq ft of land, the excess of which had to be surrendered to the State.
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