Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) questioned state NCP president Jayant Patil for over 10 hours on Monday at their Ballard Estate office, in a money laundering case linked to alleged financial irregularities in the now bankrupt financial services firm, Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services Limited (IL&FS). Patil appeared before the ED at 11.30am amidst protest by NCP workers and was grilled till 9.30pm.
The ED is probing a few payments of “commission amount” by some accused companies to entities linked to Patil. His statement was recorded under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The NCP hinted that the action against a few party leaders could be a fallout of their refusal to meet “expectations” of the ruling dispensation.
Opposition reacts strongly to Patil's questioning
Patil before going to ED office said, “I am part of the opposition and one needs to face such type of suffering. I never heard the name of IL&FS in the past, but the ED officials have summoned me to appear before them. I will try to address their queries within the legal framework.”
Patil’s questioning evoked strong reactions. While party MP Supriya Sule claimed that opposition leaders are being targeted, Shiv Sena (UBT)’s Aaditya Thackeray alleged that people siding with truth are being pressured through Central probe agencies. Sule said, “Of all the ED or CBI cases in the last few years, 90-95% are against the opposition leaders. This has been widely reported by the media as well.”
Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said, “Patil need not be afraid if he has not done anything (wrong). Central agencies or state agencies are doing their work. He must have been summoned because probe agencies might be having some information or case against him.”
Patil was issued the first summons for appearance on May 12 but he had sought deferment for about 10 days, citing personal and official engagements. He was subsequently given an extension and asked to appear on May 22 to join the investigation and record his statement.
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