Mumbai News: Court Summons Top Leaders, Businessmen In MSCB Scam

Mumbai News: Court Summons Top Leaders, Businessmen In MSCB Scam

The summons have been issued directing the accused to appear before the court on January 12

Charul Shah JoshiUpdated: Monday, December 18, 2023, 10:20 PM IST
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Enforcement Directorate (ED) | File Image

Mumbai: The special MP and MLA court has summoned former Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Prajakt Tanpure, his father Prasad Tanpure, Congress leader Ranjeet Deshmukh, Shiv Sena leader Arjunrao Panditrao Khotkar, builder Jugal Kishor Tapadiya and industrialist Padmakar Muley in connection with a money laundering case linked to the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.

The summons have been issued directing the accused to appear before the court on January 12. The court issued them summons after it took cognisance of two separate complaints filed by the Enforcement Directorate on August 24 and 25. While accepting the prosecution case, the special judge RN Rokade said there was prima facie evidence against the accused.

ED's chargesheet

The ED in its chargesheet claimed that investigation revealed that in the year 1985-86, the farmers of Nagpur came together and set up MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana. Initially, this sugar factory was running smoothly but due to mismanagement over a period of time, it started making losses and failed to refund the availed loan from Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank Limited.

Later, MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana was sold for a mere ₹12.95 crore whereas the reserve price was ₹26.32 crore. It was sold to Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products Ltd, firms of Prajakt Tanpure. Prajakt’s father Prasad was a member of the board of directors in the bank.

The agency claimed that Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products did not have the required funds for the auction process. A major part of the funds were received from Subhash Deshmukh, Sushila Deshmukh, Rajeshwar Deshmukh, Vijayalakshmi Deshmukh and Adler's Bio Energy Limited. No consent was given by the management of MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana to Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank to sell the unit at lower price than the reserve price.

Court takes note of ED's allegations

Further, the court also took a note of the allegations made by ED in the complaint that MS Sugar and Allied Agro Products managed to acquire the assets of the MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana, which included 110 acres of land, plant machinery and building structure, at a nominal price of ₹12.95 crore wherein the reserve price was fixed at ₹26.32 crore.

“These assets were acquired through incompetent bidding process. The entire assets of MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana, which may have been valued more than ₹26.32 crore in 2007 by KRV Chari Government Approved Valuer, were acquired illegally and are the proceeds of crime,” the court noted.

Besides, the agency has claimed, “Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products dismantled the machines and erected them at another plant at Vahori. Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products later approached Takshashila Securities Pvt Ltd to purchase the land of MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana situated at Saghne, Nagpur for a price of ₹4.19 crore.”

Takshashila Securities did not have the required funds and MS Globe Constructions Company, of Ranjeet Deshmukh, made some payments on their behalf. Thus, MS Takshashila Securities managed to purchase, possess and use the assets of MS Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana including 110 acres of land and building structure,” the court noted.

Similarly, MS Jalna Sahakari Sugar Factory was sold to MS Tapadia Construction for mere ₹42.31 crore, where the value of assets of the factory was more than that as evident from the valuation report dated January 20, 2022. It is further revealed that MS Tapadia Construction had received funds from other bidders, i.e. MS Ajit Seeds Pvt Ltd and Arjun Khotkar.

The agency claimed that MS Tapadia Construction did not operate the sugar factory and after a few months, it came to be sold along with the land of 235 acres to MS Arjun Sugar Industries Pvt Ltd. “Arjun Khotkar was one of the directors of the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank during the period from 1998 to 2004, there was conflict of interest,” the court had noted.

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