Economic Offences Wing files FIR in MP housing society ‘fraud’

Milind Ghatwai
Madhya Pradesh Congress minister compares BJP, Shivraj Chouhan with Mahmood Gaznavi

Congress had accused the former CM of using his influence to fraudulently allot more than a dozen plots to his relatives. (File)

A day after Chief Minister Kamal Nath said that he had given a free hand to officials to crackdown on the mafia, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on Friday registered an FIR in connection with an alleged fraud in a housing society where family members of former chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan were also allegedly allotted plots fraudulently.

The case of alleged irregularities in Rohit Gruh Nirman Sahakari Sanstha in Bhopal was repeatedly raised in the Assembly by the Congress when it was in the Opposition. It had accused the former CM of using his influence to fraudulently allot more than a dozen plots to his relatives.

Several complaints had arisen regarding allotment of plots and fraudulent bank transactions in the society, spread over 100 acres. The society’s initial membership was 1,900 but membership of 400 members was cancelled citing various reasons. The fraud relates to allotment against these 400 plots. An EOW official told The Indian Express amounts were collected from members and deposited in the society’s bank accounts and then fraudulently withdrawn. The embezzlement is to the tune of Rs 22.70 crore.

The agency registered an FIR under Sections of the IPC that relate to conspiracy, forgery and criminal breach of trust, among others. More than 20 office-bearers of the society, an advocate and an accountant were named. Ghanashyam Rajput was named as the main accused. He added that the investigation will focus only on fraudulent transactions and disappearance of documents.

The officer said, Of the 400 people whose memberships were cancelled, some members could not register plots allotted to them because they had already been sold and registered in someone else’s name. Then, the district administration promised plots to them in another area andwere asked to pay Rs 4.5 lakh each.