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Zoting panel may submit probe report on charges against Khadse next month

Former Bombay high court judge DS Zoting will submit to the Maharashtra government his report of probe against former state revenue minister Eknath Khadse by next month.

The state government had formed a one-member probe committee under the retired Bombay high court judge in the last week of June, 2016, to probe into allegations of conflict of interest against Eknath Khadse during purchase of a MIDC land at Bhosari near Pune.

Khadse had to resign over the controversial land deal wherein he had purchased a three-acre plot in Bhosari, believed to be owner by MIDC, in the name of his relative for Rs 3.75-crore as against the market price of Rs 40-crore.

The enquiry will ascertain if the land was acquired by the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) and whether it was eligible to be transferred or sold as per the MIDC norms.

The committee was asked to submit its report to the government in three months, but it sought an extension of three months since the inquiry was not completed within the stipulated period.

Khadse, a senior BJP leader and the then revenue minister in the Devendra Fadnavis government, had been facing a series of allegations including the irregularities in the land deal in Pune, and of getting calls allegedly from fugitive Dawood Ibrahim’s residence in Karachi on his mobile phone, besides an alleged bribe sought by a personal aide.

The committee, which is functioning from Nagpur, visited the Bhosari MIDC area in Pune and recorded statements of all witnesses and concerned officials.

According to available information, the committee will Khadse for cross-examination within the next couple of days and subsequently submit its report to the government for consideration.

Meanwhile, it is believed that if Khadse gets a clean chit from the Zoting committee, he will be given charge of newly set up ministry for the welfare of the other backward communities (OBC), which the Fadnavis government decided to in its cabinet meeting last month.

Source: HindustanTimes