NCP leader Ajit Pawar
NCP leader Ajit Pawar

Mumbai: Following the Bombay High Court (HC) ultimatum to the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) to register a first information report (FIR) in connection with the alleged fraud in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB), a case was registered on Monday with MRA Marg Police.

The FIR names 76 bigwigs from across all political parties, including senior Nationalist Congress Party leader and former deputy chief minister of state Ajit Pawar, Jayant Patil of the Peasants and Workers Party (PWP), Vijay Singh Mohite Patil (now in the Bharatiya Janata Party), Rajendra Shingane (NCP, former minister), Meenakshi Patil (PWP), Prithviraj Deshmukh (BJP), Anandrao Adsul (ex-Shiv Sena MP), the late Pandurang Fundkar (BJP, former minister), Dilip Sopal (NCP, soon to join Shiv Sena). Last Thursday, the HC directed EOW to register an offence against Pawar and 69 others, contending there was “credible information” against them for having allegedly caused financial losses to MSCB of Rs 25,000 crore between 2007 and 2011. Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis had already said that his government would follow the HC direction.

On Monday, officers from Unit 1 of the EOW, which deals with banking offences, reached the MRA Marg police station and registered a case under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), pertaining to cheating (420) criminal breach of trust by a public servant (409), criminal breach of trust (406), forgery (465, 467 & 468), criminal conspiracy (120-b) and common intention (34). While directing the EOW to register an offence, Justices S C Dharmadhikari and Justice Sandeep Shinde said, police had not filed an FIR in the case despite a 2009-2010 inspection report of the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD). The HC had also pointed to the chargesheet filed by a quasi-judicial inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act, which stated the decisions and the actions of the accused had caused financial losses to the the MSCB. Social activist Surinder Arora, had filed a criminal public interest litigation (PIL) in the HC, through Advocate Satish Talekar, after the EOW had failed to register an FIR on his complaint in 2015.

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