Land Mafia-Underworld Nexus: Bombay HC Directs Maha Govt To Halt SIT Probe Against Shyamsundar Agarwal In 7 Cases

Land Mafia-Underworld Nexus: Bombay HC Directs Maha Govt To Halt SIT Probe Against Shyamsundar Agarwal In 7 Cases

In all, there are 14 cases registered against Agarwal.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Friday, February 16, 2024, 03:45 AM IST
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Bombay High Court | PTI

The Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to pause its Special Investigation Team (SIT) from probing seven cases against land developer Shyamsundar Agarwal. In all, there are 14 cases registered against Agarwal. He has alleged that several of them are at the behest of former Mumbai Commissioner of Police Param Bir Singh. 

Details of cases

One of the cases was filed at the Juhu police station by Agarwal’s former business partner Sanjay Punamiya in 2021. The complaint alleged that Agarwal, with the help of gangster Chhota Shakeel, threatened him over a land deal. The complaint was then transferred to the crime branch and then to the state CID.

Agarwal has alleged that the SIT took up probe in additional seven cases that arose out of civil disputes between him, Punamiya and other parties. 

His plea challenged the SIT, alleging that the question was raised in the assembly by Bamb (also a respondent in the petition and a friend of Punamiya) even though the cases were registered far from his constituency. He has also made allegations against the SIT alleging bias towards Punamiya. Besides, Punamiya himself has several cases filed against him, Agarwal has alleged. 

Court's observations

The court noted that Agarwal did not seek stay on the probe in the seven criminal cases as per the September 2023 communication, but challenged the transfer of the civil cases to the SIT. His contention was that these cases were being investigated by the investigating officers exercising territorial jurisdiction and that he had challenged most of these cases before various courts, including the HC. 

The court remarked that there is prima facie no material on record to indicate that the seven cases were not being properly probed by the respective investigating officers and hence it was found necessary to transfer them to the SIT. 

“It thus appears that without prima facie recording any satisfaction for constituting the SIT, the impugned communication has been issued,” a bench of Justices AS Chandurkar and Jitendra Jain observed on February 14. 

The court has stayed the “execution and implementation” of the September 2023 communication to the DGP to form an SIT till its final decision.

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