This Ulwe plot belonged to the Khan Bahadur Hormasji Maneckji Bhiwandiwala trust
Navi Mumbai: In 2011, the state government formed a three-member investigative committee to investigate the fraudulent conversion of land owned by Sir Mohammed Yusuf Trust, Mumbai (645 acres), Khan Bahadur Hormasji Maneckji Bhiwandiwala ( KBHMB) Trust, Mumbai (2,000 acres in 18 villages) and Sri Swami Hatiramji Mutt Trust, Tirupati (82 acres). Some of Navi Mumbai’s top builders were named in a report submitted by the committee as it investigated the violations.
Local activists say no action has been taken against the accused so far.
The 12.5% that Cidco returned to the alleged owners was then taken back by the builders, it was claimed. A public interest dispute was filed in the Bombay High Court in 2011 and the issue was also raised in the upper house by some MLCs, including Chandrakant Patil.
The three-member committee included the deputy collectors (land acquisitions) Sameer Kurtkoti, Makrand Deshmukh and Revati Gaikar. The committee delivered a 20-page report to the Raigad collector on December 27, 2013 and called for, among other recommendations, a police investigation.
Then the collector of Raigad had recommended on January 10, 2014 to the divisional commissioner of Konkan an investigation and a filing of criminal offenses against the builder Urmesh Udani, talathi Sanjay Sonawane, the security agent Shri Bhagat of Metro Center 1.
Sonawane and Bhagat voluntarily retired before any investigation and action for their alleged involvement in the irregularities could be taken. Both were not available to comment on the matter.
“The report mentions that the land from Sir Mohammed Yusuf-Mumbai Trust and Khan Bahadur Hormasji Maneckji Bhiwandiwala-Mumbai Trust was purchased by builder Urmesh Udani, who then claimed 12.5% of developed land benefits. Several other builders and politicians have colluded with Cidco officials to seize the land. But the government has never acted against the culprits, ”said Rajeev Mishra, a right to information activist (RTI), who obtained the documents.
“The Raigad collector had recommended to the Konkan divisional commissioner to file a first information report. Instead of filing FIRs, authorities mixed the issue with eight other police FIRs filed for separate offenses and an economic offenses wing investigation. This was a deliberate attempt to distract public attention from the central issue. Last month I requested a police investigation but my complaint is still pending, ”Mishra added.
“Various investigations are underway by the police,” said Shashikant Mahavarkar, head of vigilance, Cidco.
Efforts to contact the Sri Swami Hathiramji Mutt Trust were unsuccessful.
Narendra Jhaveri of Khan Bahadur Hormasji Maneckji Bhiwandiwala trust-Mumbai declined to comment on the matter.
Sir Mohammed Yusuf Trust-Mumbai official Harshada Bhande said: “Due to Covid, no one is available at the moment.”
An attorney for some of the trustees of the Khan Bahadur Hormasji Maneckji Bhiwandiwala trust, also said: “The land trust disputes are pending before the Bombay High Court and the Charities Commissioner for disposal. These are needlessly delayed.