IRB Infrastructure, a leading road developing company has been dragged into a land scam controversy by CBI, but the MD of the company, Mr Virendra Mhaiskar stated that the company has never crossed the line or indulged in immoral activity.
A charge sheet was filed by the anti-corruption wing of CBI against Virendra Mhaiskar and 17 other people who were associated with the company on Wednesday for alleged links to a decade-old land scam in Maharashtra. However, the MD clearly denied the charges levied against him and the company.
The charge sheet was filed in a special court in Pune under Sections 120 (b), 420, 511 of the Indian Penal Code and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act. IRB Infrastructure, along with its subsidiary Aryan Infrastructure Investments Private Limited (AIIPL), has been under the cosh, alleged of taking over 73.88 hectares of the Maharashtra government’s land.
But the nature of the case is totally different from what is being hyped and presented in front of the public. In 2007, IRB’s subsidiary AIIPL started acquiring land parcels from farmers in Pune District’s Pimploli village totalling to 1,200 acres. The company learned that 5% of their attained land actually belonged to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and they were duped by the farmers. Taking stock of the situation and abiding by the law, AIIPL cancelled agreements to sell these land parcels.
The price of this 5% land was questioned by CBI in the charge sheet, which is just Rs 6 crore. But the question that arises is, since the possession of those land parcels never occurred and the agreement stood null, how could IRB Infrastructure be involved in the land scam? The overall complication of the case has led to defaming of the organization.
The media has played an active role in highlighting the news, but hasn’t done enough to find the root cause of the issue. This is the time where most of the builders and realtors are under the scanner of government and the charge sheet against Virendra Mhaiskar looks like a part of the same practice.
But the MD of IRB Infrastructure, Virendra Mhaiskar has rubbished the allegations and called it just an extension of a 10-year-old case. “When our company has followed all the procedures strictly while purchasing the land parcels, we fail to understand how IRB cheated,” he said. It is clearly a case raised for some ulterior motive that has not yet been discovered by the media.
“We deny any allegations made against us, and we seek appropriate remedies under the law. The company and its management are law-abiding citizens. We will take up the matter with the court,” he added.
Having filed its disclosure with the Bombay Stock Exchange and the National Stock Exchange on Wednesday, Virendra Mhaiskar while replying to Aditya Mongia from Kotak Securities about monetary liability coming on the company said: “Nil, because no cheating has happened. We do not see a liability of more than a single rupee.”
The IRB Infrastructure MD said, “We understand that the investigations now stand concluded, and the charges filed in the charge sheet would be argued and contested in a court of law.”