Vasai engineer who nailed 46 got cop notice for extortion
Mumbai: The Vasai automobile engineer who nailed 46 persons, including civic and revenue officers using Right to Information (RTI) Act, for forging documents and grabbing his mother’s ancestral property ( TOI, Nov 10), was in April issued a notice by Vasai police for allegedly using RTI to extort and threaten developers.
Michael Pradhan (34) had on November 3 filed a case of cheating, forgery, personation, criminal breach of trust, making false claims in court, criminal trespass and laundering against the accused for grabbing 5.29 acres in Bangli, Sandoor, Vasai (W).
Michael took nine years to gather documents to show his mother Veronica’s property papers were forged and sold to developers, who constructed residential complexes. He learnt that the property, worth over Rs 250 crore, was encroached upon in connivance with additional and assistant municipal commissioners, the town planner, revenue and land record officers.
In March-April, Palghar police woke up to extortion of builders by RTI activists. Around 10 cases were filed in Vasai. In April, Michael received a notice from Vasai police, alleging that he was using RTI to threaten and extort developers who had constructed row houses and buildings on his property. “I was fighting a case of encroachment and I was shocked to get a notice that I was using RTI to extort money. Had it not been for RTI, I would not have known the extent to which government officers can go,” said Michael, who approached the Vasai court for relief.