MSCB Scam: Complainants Doubt Local Agencies, Seek Probe By SIT

MSCB Scam: Complainants Doubt Local Agencies, Seek Probe By SIT

The EOW closure report stated that there is no criminal offence in the transactions allegedly linked to Pawar, his wife Sunetra and nephew Rohit Pawar and others.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Thursday, May 09, 2024, 12:50 AM IST
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A plea has been filed in the Bombay High Court, seeking formation of a Special Investigation Team (SIT), headed by a retired high court judge, to probe the Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam having alleged links with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar. The petition came up before a bench headed by Justice Revati Mohite-Dere, who recused herself from hearing the case. The matter will be now listed before another bench.

The plea filed by two complainants in the case, businessman Surinder Arora and agriculturist Manik Jadhav, have sought permission to amend their earlier 2021 petition, in which they had sought probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). The amendment was sought after the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police, in January, filed a second closure report in the case before the special court trying cases against MP and MLAs. The first closure report was filed in September 2020.

The EOW closure report stated that there is no criminal offence in the transactions allegedly linked to Pawar, his wife Sunetra and nephew Rohit Pawar and others. Subsequently, the special court, in February, issued notice to Arora, asking to file his reply. The special court had still not passed any order accepting or rejecting the closure reports.

Advocate Madhavi Ayyapan, appearing for Arora and Jadhav, submitted that they are seeking an “impartial investigation” into the scam as neither the state nor the central agencies are probing the case in a fair manner. Seeking SIT probe, the plea states that several political big-wigs are involved in the aforesaid crime. “In view of the aforesaid facts, it has been more than evident that the local investigating agencies, which owe allegiance to the parties in power, shall not carry out an independent investigation in the matter,” the plea read.

Based on the EOW's FIR, a probe was undertaken by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and subsequently several 'incriminating' material were unearthed to establish the scheduled offence. The 'evidence' was shared with the EOW. However, it went on to file a second closure report, while the ED filed two chargesheets based on the same material. The central agency has even filed an intervention application in the court, opposing the EOW's closure reports.

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