The Enforcement Directorate on Tuesday filed a money laundering case against Nationalist Congress Party chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam, PTI reported.
An Enforcement Case Information Report, which is equal to a First Information Report, was registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. The investigating agency’s decision to file a case came a month after the Bombay High Court ordered the Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing to file an FIR against Sharad Pawar, his nephew, and 75 others in the alleged scam.
The court had then said that there was prima facie credible evidence against the leaders in the case. The petitioner, Surinder Arora, had moved the High Court, demanding an inquiry into the MSCB scam. The Pawars were among a group of people accused of causing losses to the bank between 2007 and 2011.
The bank scam to the tune of Rs 25,000-crore was related to the sanction of illegal loans. The Enforcement Directorate reported irregularities in the loans that were given to the cooperative sugar factories by the bank’s officials, who were allegedly associated with the owners of the establishments, according to IANS. Funds were reportedly provided even though the factories had weak financials, negative net worth, collaterals were not considered in several cases, and additional facilities were granted without any justification.
“There was huge misappropriation of funds on the part of committee members, directors and loan committee members of MSCB, acting in connivance to siphon off the money and causing huge losses to the bank,” unidentified Enforcement Directorate officials said.
“We are not shocked by this,” Ajit Pawar’s son, Parth Pawar, told NDTV. “Before elections, this is what the present government has been doing across the country. We are together and we will be fighting against this.”
The Maharashtra Assembly elections are scheduled for October 21. Sharad Pawar had announced on September 16 that his party will contest the elections in alliance with the Congress.
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