HC orders CBI probe against Digvijaya in Indore mall case
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The Madhya Pradesh High Court on Thursday ordered a CBI probe against former chief minister Digvijaya Singh and five others in a case of alleged corruption and irregularities in the construction of a shopping mall in Indore.
The state economic offences bureau had filed a closure report in April saying no offence could be made out against Digvijaya Singh, then housing minister Chaudhary Rakesh Singh, then chief secretary A V Singh, and three others, including two builders.
Complainant Mahesh Garg challenged the closure report in the Indore Bench of the HC requesting a probe by the Central agency alleging that the state agency did not conduct a fair probe. In its 49-page order, the Bench of Justices P K Jaiswal and M C Garg asked the CBI to carry out a further probe and submit its report within six months, said advocate Manohar Dalal. The CBI was asked to probe points like code words mentioned in a diary, the specific role of officers, alleged increase in FSI from 1.5 to 2.5 (that allowed additional construction of one lakh sq feet), change of land-use, and withdrawal by the housing board from what was meant to be a joint venture.
The Treasure Island mall's construction had begun during the Congress regime but completed year after the BJP came to power. In 2009, the state agency filed an FIR against 12 persons, including Digvijaya Singh and Choudhary, but filed the chargesheet in a lower court against only four persons on the ground that charges against them could not be proved.
Dalal had alleged that the housing board was a 51 per cent partner in the project, which allowed the developer, three Kalani brothers, to secure loan from HUDCO. The complainant alleged that the developer flouted rules and exceeded the FSI, and when the project was on the verge of completion the housing board withdrew from the project. Dalal alleged that crores had exchanged hands and that the project was fully developed only after the change of guard in MP. He said at least one BJP minister was involved and the state agency had spared him by not naming him in the FIR.
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