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CBI files FIRs in case involving 90-year-old land deals, maharajas

The FIRs in the case, dealing with the transfer of land to builders by officials of a PSU and the finance department of the Madhya Pradesh government, were filed yesterday, officials said.

Reported by: PTI, New Delhi [ Published on: December 22, 2017 23:11 IST ]
Central Bureau of Investigation

The CBI has registered two FIRs into alleged corruption in the transfer of prime land in Thane that was originally mortgaged in 1925, a case with modern-day echoes of graft and roots in the days of rajas and princely states. 

The FIRs in the case, dealing with the transfer of land to builders by officials of a PSU and the finance department of the Madhya Pradesh government, were filed yesterday, officials said. 

Though the deed of indenture of mortgage is dated September 3, 1925, 92 years ago, the cheating in the transfer of 314 acres of land allegedly took place in 1968.  The land was once held by the princely state of Gwalior and then by the union government (post-independence) as mortgage.

The graft took place in 1968 and afterwards in connivance with the officials of Provident Investment Company Limited (PIC), a PSU, the finance department of the Madhya Pradesh government and the Thane municipal corporation, the FIR alleged. 

Over the years, the land was given to private builders by officials without the knowledge of the state and the central government. 

The agency has registered a case of criminal conspiracy, cheating and corruption against the unidentified officials of all the three bodies and unidentified builders.  It begins with the Hindu undivided family of Mathuradas Gokuldas mortgaging some plots in Yeoor and Majiwada revenue villages of Thane district to secure consolidated debt and interest against a loan taken from the erstwhile state of Gwalior Darbar. 

The deed of indenture of mortgage, dated September 3, 1925, was done through its agent Framroz Edulji Dinshaw and registered at the office of sub-registrar of Assurances at Bombay. 

The loan was given to Mathuradas Gokuldas from the funds of Gwalior State Railways, which merged with Indian Railways after Independence. All the properties in question were transferred to the Central government under Federal Financial Integration, the FIR stated. 

PIC became a public sector undertaking of the government of Madhya Pradesh after independence and was assigned the management of mortgaged properties in Bombay, Thane and Pune on behalf of Union of India, it said. 

The 314 acres mortgaged by the Gokuldas family was part of this. 

According to the FIR, the 314 acres in the villages of Thane were unauthorisedly given on long lease and sold to various promoters and builders by unknown PIC officials “without obtaining consent of government of India”.  

The CBI claimed the no-objection certificate for development of the land was also given by unknown officials of the Madhya Pradesh government’s finance department without informing the state or union government.  “In furtherance to the conspiracy the unknown officials of Thane Municipal Corporation connived with PIC in usurping these lands by giving development permission to promoters and builders,” it alleged. 

It said the officials entered into a criminal conspiracy during the period of 1968 and thereafter with unknown builders with the objective to cheat the union government and usurping the land belonging to it in Majiwada and Yeoor.  Wrongful loss was caused to union government and corresponding gain to promoters and builders by allegedly alienating the said land, the FIR alleged.

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