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.
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) have 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. In 2007, IRB’s subsidiary AIIPL started acquiring land parcels from farmers in Pune District’s Pimploli village totaling to 1,200 acres to be precise. 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, 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 which arises is that 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 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 a 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, Mr 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.
“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, Mr 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 stands concluded, and the charges filed in the charge sheet would be argued and contested in a court of law.”