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Fresh rap for building scam

Jharkhand High Court on Monday took the Ranchi Municipal Corporation (RMC) and the Ranchi Regional Development Authority (RRDA) to task for their failure to take action against those who played a role in illegal constructions in the state capital.

The court also sought to know what action had been taken against offenders identified by the CBI that has taken over the investigation.

A division bench of Justices D.N. Patel and Amitav Kumar Gupta issued the directions while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by one Har Narayan Lakhotia in 2011 on the “nexus” between builders and government officials, which allowed buildings to come up in blatant violation of RMC and RRDA norms.

The bench observed that buildings had been constructed without proper plans and permission from the authorities concerned.

“Electricity and water connections have also been sanctioned in such buildings. This can never happen in any other state, but in Jharkhand such malpractices are very common. The officials are not doing their duty properly,” the judges observed.

RMC town planners Ghanshyam Agarwal and Gajanand Ram were present in the court, which asked the CBI to file a status report on the investigation done by it and how far it succeeded in arresting builders and officials, who had promoted illegal constructions in Ranchi.

The CBI informed the bench that it had already applied for obtaining sanctions for prosecution proceedings against some officials of RMC and RRDA. A nod is yet to come.

The case will be again heard on July 7.

The court had directed the CBI to investigate the matter on March 23, 2011.

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