Mumbai: Former Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Hasan Mushrif on Monday did not appear before the Enforcement Directorate (ED), which had summoned him for questioning in a probe related to alleged irregularities in a sugar mill. Mushrif has sought more time from the ED as he moved the Bombay High Court to get the money-laundering case and the summons quashed.
Mushrif also sought the HC’s directions for audio-video recording of the ED proceedings, in case the summons doesn’t get quashed and he is required to appear before the agency. Mushrif urged the HC to direct the ED to not take any coercive action against him till the petition is decided.
NCP’s legislator from Kolhapur’s Kagal Assembly constituency, Mushrif had served as rural development minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi government. The ED’s case is linked to a probe related to alleged irregularities in the operation of a Kolhapur-based sugar mill, Sar Senapati Santaji Ghorpade Sugar Factory Limited, to which his three sons are linked.
His petition was mentioned on Monday before a division bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Sharmila Deshmukh by senior advocate Abaad Ponda and advocate Prashant Patil. Citing the urgency, the counsels said that the ED action came after the HC on Friday passed an interim order for no coercive action in the other case of cheating. The HC has kept the petition for hearing on Tuesday.
ED summons Hasan Mushrif
Seeking to quash and set aside the ED ECIR (akin to a First Information Report), his plea says it was “nothing but a result of a motivated conspiracy indicating clear mala fides so as to negatively affect the ever-rising political career of the petitioner”.
The ED had carried out searches at the factory premises and had issued summons to him to appear before the agency on Monday. The ED had claimed suspicious transactions from two companies “without having substantial business” to Sar Senapati Santaji Ghorpade Sugar Factory Ltd, where Mushrif’s sons are directors or stakeholders.
“…The proceedings were maliciously instituted with an ulterior and mala fide motive for wreaking vengeance on the petitioner and with a view to create “scheduled offence” so as to entangle the petitioner in the investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate,” reads the petition. “It is common knowledge as to how in recent times the office of Enforcement Directorate is used to wreck political vengeance and either severely damage or completely destroy political careers,” the plea alleged.
Who is Hasan Mushrif?
Hasan Mushrif is the sitting MLA of NCP. He leads the Kagal assembly constituency in Kolhapur district. Mushrif is well known in western Maharashtra as the prominent Muslim face of NCP. He dominates the politics of Kolhapur district.
Hasan Mushrif was appointed as a minister during the coalition government. He held the post of Labor Minister. He also won the 2014 assembly elections in the Modi wave. He was also offered to join the party by BJP, but he rejected the offer.
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