Bombay HC orders for a more meticulous probe in the land transfer case between former State Minister and his son


Umamageswari Maruthappan

The Bombay High Court has expressed its displeasure to the Mumbai Police for giving clearance to the land deal between former Minister Ambrish Patel and his son.

A bench of Justices Tanaji Nalawade and Mukund Sewlikar further ordered for a rigorous investigation of the disputed lease agreement of over 105 acres of land.

Former Minister of Maharashtra Ambrish Patel, a BJP Leader, owns a spinning mill which he had transferred to a firm through a lease agreement for 99 years for a yearly rent of Rs. 30 Lakhs.

The petitioner, Milind Daulatrao Patil, argued that the firm named Dessan Infrastructure Private Limited Company to which the property has been leased in controlled by Patel’s own son. With this transaction, the petitioner stated that the cooperative society, Members of the mill and depositors are seriously prejudiced.

The Police Authorities made an enquiry in this regard under section 83(1) of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act and reported that there was nothing that seems suspicious in the transfer.

However, the High Court Bench did not accept the report and stated that the police authorities had erred while investigating the case. “If by accepting the reports of the authorities or the officers of cooperative department such things are ignored then people in general will lose faith in police machinery and also faith in the judicial system,” remarked the Bench in its order dated 2nd February 2021.

“By using such modus operandi most of the factories of the State are sold and that property has gone again to the persons who were controlling the factories in the past even as founder and that has caused loss to the share holders and poor farmers,” it added.

Pointing out the already existing hurdles of the cooperative societies, the Bench emphasized on “strict and disciplinary action” against such conducts to prevent the continuation of similar incidents.

It also hoped that the State Government along with the police department would “take such things very seriously so that poor’s of the state are protected.”

The matter will now be heard on 3rd March 2021.

Earlier, when the matter reached the High Court, a Bench comprising of T.V. Nalawade, M. G. Sewlikar commented that “the report does not show that any inquiry was really made which can be called as independent inquiry.” (Order dated 6th March 2020).

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