The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday questioned former Maharashtra minister and NCP legislator Hasan Mushrif for several hours to continue recording his statement as part of its money-laundering probe related to a cheating case registered by the Kolhapur police in February. The agency had questioned Mushrif last Wednesday as well.
Mushrif denied allegations of wrongdoing
Mushrif arrived at the ED headquarters at around noon, accompanied by his lawyers, to continue recording his statement. According to sources, Mushrif denied allegations of wrongdoing in the case. Last Tuesday the ED had first summoned Mushrif for questioning in its probe, which is based upon the case registered by Kolhapur police’s Murgud Police Station. The cheating case was registered in connection with alleged money collection from a member of a sugar factory. It was alleged by the complainant that he had been asked to deposit Rs10,000 though he did not get the sugar.
Mushrif had on Tuesday told media that he had cooperated in the probe, answering all the queries that were posed to him. The NCP’s legislator from Kolhapur’s Kagal constituency, Mushrif had served as rural development minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government.
Alleged irregularities in the operation of a Kolhapur-based sugar mill
The ED also has under its scanner 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. The agency 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.
HC's interim protection
Mushrif had last week requested the ED to ensure that his statement gets recorded in audio-visual format via CCTV, as per Supreme Court’s guidelines and the provisions of the Code of Criminal Procedure. He had also requested the presence of his lawyers within visible distance, not audible distance when his statement gets recorded.
The Bombay High Court had recently granted Mushrif interim protection from coercive action by the agency for two weeks. Mushrif had approached the HC to get the money-laundering case and the summons quashed. His counsels had pointed out that the HC, on May 2, 2022, had stayed the special court order initiating criminal proceedings in the sugar mill case and that the ED action came after the HC on Friday had passed an interim order for no coercive action in the other case of cheating.
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