Millennium Post

Charge-sheet filed against Bhujbal in Sadan scam case

The Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Wednesday filed a charge-sheet against senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal and others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case.

Besides Bhujbal, who was PWD minister in the Congress-NCP government in the state, his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer and 14 others are named in the charge-sheet.

The charge-sheet, which runs into 20,000 pages, contains statements of over 60 witnesses.

An ACB officer said that the investigation revealed that in the construction of `Maharashtra Sadan’ (the state guest house in Delhi), contractor earned 80 per cent profit, while the rules allowed only 20 per cent margin. “The accounts were fudged to show that the profit earned was only one percent,” he said.

Chamankar Associates, the contractor firm, transferred money to Niche Infrastructure and other companies in which Pankaj and Sameer were directors, he said.

“Most of the companies floated by Bhujbals are in the name of their employees and used for syphoning off funds. Niche was earlier owned by employees of Maharashtra Educational Trust. Bhujbals later became directors of MET,” the ACB officer said.

The original cost estimate for Maharashtra Sadan was Rs 13.5 crore, but later it was increased to Rs 50 crore. The Bhujbals got Rs 13.5 crore in kickbacks from the Chamankars who earned a profit of about Rs 190 crore from Maharashtra Sadan and other PWD works, the officer said.

“Most of the money was transferred to Niche by Chamankars after getting the project; the money ultimately reached Sameer and Pankaj.”

The ACB’s case relies entirely on documentary evidence such as paper trail of fund transfers and bank transactions, he said.

The ACB in June 2015 registered two FIRs against Bhujbals. First one is about alleged irregularities in allotment of a prime plot of land at Kalina in Mumbai to a developer.

The second FIR is about alleged corruption and irregularities in the construction of Maharashtra Sadan. PWD, during Bhujbal’s tenure, was accused of awarded sub-contracts to certain firms in blatant violation of rules.
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