Mumbai, 24 Sep (The Press Watch) – The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case of money laundering against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew and Ex deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, and others in a criminal case in connection with the Rs 25 thousand crore scam in Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank today.
Diliprao Deshmukh, Isharlal Jain, Jayant Patil, Shivaji Rao, Anand Rao Adsul, Rajendra Shingane and Madan Patil are among the accused in the ED case.
The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR that had named the then directors of the bank, former deputy chief minister of the state Ajit Pawar, and 70 former functionaries of the cooperative bank. Sharad Pawar, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, has been named in the ED FIR on the basis of the police FIR, officials say.
The Mumbai Police last month had registered an FIR against Ajit Pawar and other functionaries in the MSCB scam case on the directions of the Bombay High Court. Other accused include Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil and officials from the superseded bank’s units in 34 districts in the state, an official said.
The accused were allegedly complicit in causing losses to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to MSCB between 2007 and 2011. It is alleged that there were irregularities in loan disbursements to cooperative sugar factories, and that loans were sanctioned despite them having weak financials. In many cases, loans were sanctioned without any collateral. The cooperative sugar factories were allegedly sold to close relatives of certain politicians.
An inspection by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as well as a charge sheet filed by a quasi-judicial inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act had earlier blamed the “decisions, actions and inactions” of Pawar and the other accused for the loss.