Ahmedabad: The CBI has enlisted a case against a previous ASI official and a few others in a matter identified with inconsistencies submitted while giving NOCs and permitting development close to protected monuments.
The accused in the CBI case are Ramesh Parmar, a partner in Ahmedabad based company Riddhi Siddhi Enterprise; Shivanand Rao, former superintending archaeologist ASI Vadodara Circle; former administrative officer in National Monuments Authority (NMA) Ravi Kumar Gautam, a private person Kanu Patel, former senior conservation assistant in ASI Arifali Agariya; conservation assistant Rajesh Johri and unknown public servants of AMC/ASI and other private persons.
According to case details, the accused, in connivance with unknown officials of AMC, Archaeological Survey of India, NMA and other unknown private persons, committed irregularities while granting NOCs and extension for construction, reconstruction in prohibited and regulated area of Achyut Bibi’s Masjid and Kuki Biwiki Masjid and Maqbara and violated the provisions of Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act, in the period between 2006 and 2018. The two monuments are located in Dariapur and Kazipur area of the city.
Searches were conducted at nine locations, including residential and official premises of the accused in Ahmedabad and Vadodara, etc. which led to the recovery of incriminating documents. Cash of about Rs 26.75 lakh was recovered from the premises of the private person and silver bricks weighing about 6.5 kg were recovered from the premises of Ravi Gautam.
The CBI claimed that the ASI officials granted NOCs to the private company for constructions in the regulated and prohibited areas.
It was also alleged that Kanu Patel arranged Rs 30 lakh and handed it over to a public servant for issuance of revalidation letter signed by an NMA official for construction in his premises.
NOC was issued by Shivanand Rao’s office
During the course of inquiry by CBI, it was found that a partner of Riddhi Siddhi Enterprise applied for an NOC for reconstruction of block A, B, C and D of industrial sheds in Dariapur-Kazipur in 2006 and the NOC was issued by the office of Shivanand Rao who was then superintending archaeologist of ASI’s Vadodara circle. The NOC was submitted to AMC which subsequently approved it.