As reported by Anshika Misra
Friday, January 11, 2008 06:18 IST

Mukand plot sale: Rane, CM hand alleged

The Bombay High Court was told on Wednesday that there was material to suggest “direct involvement of revenue minister and possibly even the chief minister” in the alleged concessions — that resulted in a loss of Rs100 crore to the exchequer — given to Mukand Ltd for the sale of its Kurla land.

Lawyer Subhash Jadhav, who had filed a PIL challenging a 2005 government order granting “undue” concessions to Mukand Ltd for the sale of land in Kurla, made these allegations on Wednesday.

Jadhav’s lawyer Shrihari Aney sought an adjournment to file an application under the Right to Information (RTI) Act to get the relevant documents.
He added that the new facts had only recently been brought to the petitioner’s notice. The High Court adjourned the matter till January 31.

The PIL focuses on the sale of a sprawling plot situated on LBS Marg in December 2005 for Rs221 crores to a consortium of four developers.

Mukand Ltd, which is jointly-owned by former West Bengal governor Viren Shah and industrialist Neeraj Bajaj, was required to pay 50 per cent of the amount to the government as the plot was given to them at a concession in 1950 to set up a steel plant.

However, on September 14, 2005, revenue minsister Narayan Rane spared Mukand Ltd from paying 50 per cent of the land’s market value, the petition alleged.

The petitioner said Rane had placed the order before chief minister Vilasrao Deshmukh, who endorsed it. The petitioner claimed to have got the copy of the order under RTI Act. The order was not placed before the cabinet.