Setback for NCP's Ajit Pawar Ahead of Maharashtra Polls as SC Refuses to Quash Probe Into Bank Scam
The Bombay High Court had on August 22 directed police to register an FIR against Pawar and over 70 others in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam case.
File photo of NCP leader Ajit Pawar (PTI)
In a major setback for NCP leader Ajit Pawar month ahead of elections in Maharashtra, the Supreme Court has declined to quash the investigation against him in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam case. Asking the Maharashtra Police to conduct a free and fair probe, the SC said investigation cannot be stopped at this stage.
The Bombay High Court had on August 22 directed police to register an FIR against Pawar and over 70 others in the scam, observing that they seemed to have "complete knowledge" that their actions would cause a huge loss to the bank.
Besides former deputy chief minister Pawar, those accused in the case include PWP (Peasants and Workers Party) leader Jayant Patil and several senior cooperative bank officials from 34 districts in the state. The accused allegedly were complicit in causing losses worth Rs 1,000 crore to MSCB between 2007 and 2011.
Pawar, Patil and several former directors of the bank are accused of violating banking and RBI regulations while disbursing loans to sugar mills at very low rates and selling off assets of defaulter businesses at throw-away prices.
Such sale of assets, disbursement of cheap loans and a failure to ensure repayment resulted in losses of over Rs 1,000 crore to the bank between 2007 and 2011, it is alleged. The accused also forged records and fudged figures to show the bank was making profits, it is alleged.
Surinder Arora, an activist, had filed a complaint against Pawar and others with the EOW in 2015. He approached the high court through his lawyer S B Talekar when no FIR was registered on his complaint.
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