Nagpur: In a development having wide repercussions in political circles, the State Lokayukta Tahliani has ordered a probe into bogus project-affected certificates issued in the name of relatives of Guardian Minister Chandrashekhar Bawankule. It is for the first time in the history of Maharashtra that the Lokayukta has ordered such a probe against a minister’s relatives. The Divisional Commissioner and District Collector have been directed to conduct the probe.
The Lokayukta order is the outcome of a demand in this regard by President of Bhimsena Shridhar Salve and an RTI activist Sunil Salve. Both had submitted a memorandum to the Lokayukta on 9.9.2016 demanding a probe into the bogus project-affected certificates issued to relatives of Bawankule. The Bhimsena President and the RTI activist had said that on the basis of the bogus certificates, the relatives of Bawankule derived benefits applicable to project-affected people such as compensation, lands, jobs, and other benefits. The Lokayakta was urged to file criminal offences against the bogus beneficiaries and recovery of entire amounts.
Taking serious note of the demand, Lokayukta Tahliani conducted a hearing on the matter on 19.12.2016. During the hearing, it was said that Chandrashekhar Bawankule, during the period from 1990 to 2014, used his political clout and constitutional post for preparing bogus project-affected certificates in the name of his relatives with the help of forged records. With these bogus certificates, Bawankule provided his brothers Narayan, Yedunandan, Narayan’s wife Kavita, cousine sister Kavita Vasant Barde, brother-in-law Pramod Bondre jobs in Mahagenco and MSEDCL.
Considering all the facts, the Lokayukta ordered the Divisional Commissioner and District Collector to conduct a probe into the charges against Bawankule.