In a setback for Shiv Sena leader and former MP Anandrao Adsul, the Bombay High Court has rejected his plea challenging the case lodged by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with an alleged Rs 980 crore fraud at the City Co-operative Bank, of which Adsul is a former chairman.
While dismissing Adsul’s plea on Thursday, the HC granted him liberty to approach the special court and seek anticipatory bail if he apprehends arrest.
A division bench of Justices Nitin Jamdar and Sarang Kotwal was hearing a petition filed by Adsul challenging the ED case against him and summons issued by it directing him to appear for questioning.
Abhinav Chandrachud, Adsul’s counsel, argued that the ED had initiated proceedings against the Sena leader at the instance of political rivals. Adsul’s petition reads: “Proceedings initiated by ED against Adsul clearly smack of political vendetta being settled through enforcement agencies which are armed with powers of civil court during investigation and have been elevated to the status of Court.”
Chandrachud further argued that the proceedings were initiated based on a complaint filed by Ravi Rana, husband of independent MP Navneet Kaur. Earlier this year, Adsul had filed a petition against Navneet Kaur’s caste certificate following which the HC had cancelled the caste certificate.
Additional solicitor general Anil Singh, appearing for ED, opposed the relief stating that Adsul’s conduct should be considered when the summons were issued to him.
The money laundering case is based on an FIR of the Mumbai Police economic offences wing into the alleged irregularities in disbursement of loan funds and other financial transactions in the bank.