Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has summoned Shiv Sena (UBT) leader and Ex-mayor Kishori Pednekar and BMC additional commissioner P. Velarasu for questioning them in COVID 19 Body bag case.
The central agency wish to question Pednekar and Velarasu in connection with the alleged money laundering in ₹49.63 lakhs.
According to the ED sources - Pednekar has been summoned on Wednesday, while Velarasu has been asked to remain present before ED on Tuesday.
The body bag scam case
The ED’s money laundering case is based on a criminal case filed by the Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) against ex-mayor and Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Kishori Pednekar. Pednekar held the position of mayor from November 2019 to March 2022. apart from Pednekar former additional municipal commissioner (Projects) and a former deputy municipal commissioner (purchase/CPD), and private contractor Vedanta Innotech PVT, and unknown other government servants, in the alleged scam involving the purchase of body bags at inflated rates during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Criminal breach of entrustment of public monies
The accused persons allegedly committed a criminal breach of entrustment of public monies to the tune of ₹49,63,200 and thereby committed the offence. IAS officer P Velrasu is AMC (projects) had handled all Covid-related procurement through CPD and the mechanical and electrical department.
The private company, M/S Vedant Innotech PVT (VIPL), is under scrutiny for allegedly supplying body bags for deceased COVID-19 patients to the BMC at ₹6,719 per bag. This rate was over two times the quoted price of ₹2,925 per bag by Care One Solution for other private hospitals or government authorities during the same period. The ECIR of ED states that the accused hatched a criminal conspiracy to favor M/s Vedanta Innotech Pvt, Ltd (VIPL), its directors, and defraud the BMC.