Will follow HC directive on FIR in bank scam case, says Maharashtra CM

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first_imgThe government will abide by Bombay High Court’s directive instructing the Mumbai Police to register an FIR against senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar and others in the alleged Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) fraud case, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on Friday.This comes a day after the high court directed the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police to lodge a case against Mr. Pawar and more than 70 other persons within five days, contending there was “credible information” against them of having allegedly caused financial losses to the tune of ₹1,000 crore to the MSCB between 2007 and 2011.“The High Court has directed a case to be lodged within a specific time limit and one can be certain that we [the Maharashtra government] will honour the court’s orders,” said Mr. Fadnavis, speaking to reporters in Dhule during the course of the second leg of the BJP’s mahajanadesh yatra.Taking a dig at the opposition, he said: “Going by the overwhelming response to our mahajanadesh yatra, it is clear that people have faith in the good work being done at the Centre and the State… I find that in their bid to emulate us, other parties [read the NCP] too have come up with their respective rallies… best of luck to them.” Meanwhile, speaking in Parbhani during the NCP’s ongoing shivswarajya yatra, Mr. Pawar said while he had heard of the court’s directive, he was yet to receive any official document.“I have not attended any meetings of the MSCB for the past several years, but I would not like to comment more on the matter right now. I respect any decision taken by the High Court…I will consult my lawyer and then take any further step,” he said.In their order, Justices S.C. Dharmadhikari and Justice Sandeep Shinde had on Thursday observed that the police had not filed an FIR in the case despite a 2009-10 inspection report of National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and a charge sheet filed by a quasi- judicial inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act stating that the decisions and the actions of the accused, including Mr. Pawar, had caused financial losses to the the MSCB. A Mumbai-based resident, Surinder Arora, had first filed a complaint with the EOW in the case in 2015 and had later filed a criminal public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay HC, urging it to direct the police to file an FIR.Meanwhile, Mr. Pawar and other NCP leaders including Baramati MP Supriya Sule, hit out at the BJP saying several NCP and Congress leaders were switching sides fearing that probe agencies would be unleashed upon them by the ruling party.“There have been a number of ‘outgoing’ leaders from our party. However, they are doing so owing to the harassment of probe agencies. Why are notices being issued to opposition leaders like Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray just before Assembly polls,” said Mr. Pawar.She also wanted to know why the State was not taking action against sugar factories owned by ruling party leaders that had not yet paid FRP arrears to farmers.Addressing a rally at a Samwad Yatra in Ahmednagar, Ms. Sule defended her cousin (Ajit Pawar), stating that it was only after the BJP came to power that agencies like Enforcement Directorate (ED) and Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) were being freely used to stamp out all opposition.“This gross misuse of probe agencies is a new phenomenon…it seems that the ED and the CBI have come to define the new political culture in the State and the country. It is worth noting that opposition leaders are being harassed just before the Assembly polls,” she said, adding that though the NCP and the Congress were in power in the State and at the Centre for 15 years, they had never resorted to such “terrorising tactics” to quell the opposition.last_img

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