High Court grants bail to Mokhabardi scam accused

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 13 Mar 2018 09:31:02

Staff Reporter ,

The State Government on Monday informed the High Court that it had no objection to grant of bail to accused directors of directors of R J Shah and D Thakkar Construction Company named in multi-crore irrigation scam pertaining to Mokhabardi life irrigation scheme under Gosikhurd project, since the main accused Jigar Thakkar had committed suicide.

Recording this submission, the Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Monday granted bail to directors of these companies and former top officers of Vidarbha Irrigation Development Corporation (VIDC), named by Anti Corruption Bureau in its chargesheet. However, the High Court directed the accused persons to deposit their passports with the investigating agency and released on personal bond of Rs five lakh each. The High Court further directed them to co-operate with the investigating agency.

One week ago, the ACB had strongly opposed grant of any relief to irrigation scam accused and had urged the High Court to vacate the ad-interim stay granted to accused persons. The ACB had claimed that there was collusion between parties, tweaking of norms and apparent cartelisation to manipulate the process to bag the tender. However, the High Court had extended protection to seven accused persons till Monday. During earlier hearing the High
Court had directed the prosecuting agency not to take any coercive steps against the applicants till next hearing..

The ACB had booked Kalindi Rajendra Shah (67), Tejaswini Rajendra Shah (64), both Directors of R J Shah & Company Limited, Mumbai; Vishal Pravin Thakkar (36), Pravin Nathalal Thakkar (67), Jigar Pravin Thakkar (the prime accused and real decision maker who recently committed suicide in Mumbai), and Arun Kumar Gupta, all Directors of D Thakkar Constructions Private Limited. Besides VIDC officials including Chandan Jibhkate, the ACB had also booked Sopan Ramrao Suryawanshi (65), retired Chief Engineer; Umashankar Wasudeo Parvate (59), retired Executive Engineer, under various sections of Prevention of Corruption Act 1980 and Sections 420, 468, 471, 109, 120 (b) of Indian Penal Code in the year 2016.

It may be recalled that last month the Special Court had rejected bail applications moved by the accused describing them as non-maintainable and granted them time to move the High Court. This was done since they had not surrendered before the court and their application was pending before the High Court. The ACB had filed 4,500 page chargesheet against Mokhabardi accused on January 9, after which they moved the court seeking protection.
Adv S G Joshi appeared for the applicants while Addl PP V A Thakre represented the ACB.