Thursday, December 14, 2017

Do not see a liability of more than a rupee: IRB MD Virendra Mhaiskar on Maharashtra land scam

Accusations against the road building company IRB Infrastructure piled up pretty fast. The controversy revolving around the road developing giant IRB is ‘illegal land acquisition’.The company has been dragged into this dispute by the CBI. However; the instance does not have a valid point to stand in the court of law.
On December 6, the anti-corruption branch of CBI filed a charge sheet against Virendra Mhaiskar, the chairman and MD of IRB Infrastructure Developers Limited for alleged association to a 10-year old land scam in Maharashtra. Besides, 17 other people who were linked to the company, have been named in the charge sheet.
Under the sections 120(b), 420, 511 of the Indian Penal Code and sections of Prevention of Corruption Act,a charge sheet has been filed in a court in Pune. Aryan Infrastructure Investments Private Limited(AIIPL), a subsidiary of IRB Infrastructure,is accused of trying to grab over 73.88 hectares of the Maharashtra government’s land.
But the case is far-fetched from reality. It was in 2007, IRB’s subsidiary AIIPL acquired the land from the farmers in Pune’s district Pimpoli village that summed up to 1,200 acres. Furthermore, by 2009, AIIPL discovered that 5% of the total land acquired by them belongs to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation (MSRDC), and they have been robbed by the farmers. The farmers faked the deals, to make some quick money. Upon realization, the company forfeited the agreements to sell these land parcels.
The CBI now questions the price of that 5% land, which is just Rs 6 crore. Moreover, the big question is, how could IRB infrastructure be involved in the ‘land scam’ since there was no real agreement of land parcels, and the agreement stood nulled?
While there are continuous claims being made against the filing of chargesheet by media houses, only few actually know the root cause. The present scenario where most builders are under the government’sobservation, the chargesheetagainst VirendraMhaiskar seems just like a part of the drill.
MD VirendraMhaiskar denies being associated with the scam.He calls it an unnecessary extension of the 10-year-old forbidden case. “We fail to conclude how IRB ‘cheated’ when all rules and regulations were followed closely while purchasing the land parcels,” he said.
The acknowledgement has already been filed by the company with the Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock exchange on Wednesday. Also, in reply to Aditya Mongia from Kotak Securitiesabout financial liability concern on the organization, VirendraMhaiskar said: “Zero, because nothing has happened. We do not see a liability of more than a rupee.”
The chairman of IRB Infrastructure added, “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.”

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