Supreme Court stays Bombay High Court order to file FIR against Dhananjay Munde

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Friday stayed a Bombay High Court order directing registration of a First Information Report against Maharashtra MLC and NCP leader Dhananjay Munde in an alleged illegal purchase of government land case.A Vacation Bench of Justices Ajay Rastogi and Surya Kant also issued notices to the Maharashtra government and the complainant in the case, Rajabhau Phad.During the hearing, the Bench queried, “what was the exceptional feature in the case” that led the High Court to order the registration of the FIR.In his petition, Mr. Munde, sought stay of the High Court order that directed the police to file a case against him for allegedly grabbing land at Pus village, Ambajogai taluk, Beed district belonging to government.The top court, however, declined to go into the merits of the case as of now.Earlier in the morning, the Beed police lodged a case of cheating and forgery against Mr. Dhananjay Munde and 14 others in the case.An FIR under Sections 420 (cheating), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 464 (false document) and 471 (using as genuine a forged document) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) was lodged against Mr. Munde and the others at the Bardapur police station.The police action follows a June 11 order of the Aurangabad Bench of the Bombay High Court, directing an FIR to be registered against Mr. Munde, who is Leader of Opposition (LoP) in the Maharashtra Legislative Council (MLC), within four days of the court order.The court had passed the directive on a petition filed by Mr. Phad, who had accused the NCP leader of illegally purchasing land for his Jagmitra sugar factory in Beed district.According to Mr. Phad’s petition, the disputed plot of land at Pus village in Beed’s Ambejogai tehsil belonged to the State government and was given to the Belkhandi Math in Beed as a ‘gift’ to its chief priest or mahant, Ranit Giri.In 2012, Mr. Munde had purchased the 17-acre plot from Mr. Giri’s heirs by applying for non-agricultural status of the land.The petitioner had challenged the purchase, stating that as the land originally belonged to the government, it could not be sold to anybody.Stressing that the land for the Jagmitra Sugar Mills was purchased “in strict accordance to rules,” Mr. Munde has refuted the allegations against him, stating that “misleading information” was presented against him in the court.He has alleged that Mr. Phad’s complaint against him smacked of “political vendetta.”The NCP leader said that Mr. Phad, who is the son-in-law of scam-tainted businessman Ratnakar Gutte, was attempting to frame him as he had exposed the farm loan fraud allegedly committed by Mr. Gutte, a prominent sugar baron from the Marathwada region considered to be close to the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party.Mr. Munde’s lawyers have said that there was no mention of the land belonging to the government at the time of the purchase in 2012.This is not the first time the NCP leader has found himself in a soup over shadowy dealings.In October 2013, the Beed District Central Co-operative Bank had lodged a complaint pertaining to fraudulent behaviour against Mr. Munde and 15 others at the Parli police station in Beed.The BDCC had alleged Mr. Munde, as chairman and director of the Parli-based Jagmitra Co-operative Cotton Ginning and Pressing Mill, had taken loans from the bank amounting to ₹11.79 crore between 2003 and 2011 and had failed to repay them. Despite the lodging of an FIR and the filing of a charge sheet against the NCP leader, a local court had stayed Mr. Munde’s arrest.last_img read more