Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday questioned NCP legislator Hasan Mushrif to record his statement as part of its money-laundering probe linked to a cheating case registered by the Kolhapur police.
After being questioned for over seven hours, Mushrif told the media that he cooperated in the probe and responded to queries posed to him. He was questioned twice earlier by the agency. While no fresh summons was issued to him on Friday after his questioning concluded, the agency may call him if required. When asked if the process of recording the statement was over, his lawyer Prashant Patil said, “Yes”.
Cheating case was registered by Kolhapur Police
The cheating case was registered by Kolhapur Police’s Murgud police station in connection with alleged money collection from a member of the Sar Senapati Santaji Ghorpade Sugar Factory Limited. The member, on whose complaint the police registered the case in February, had alleged that he had invested Rs10,000 in the sugar mill, although he did not get the returns. Mushrif has denied any wrongdoing in the case.
A group of over a 100 farmers, who claimed to be supporters of Mushrif and also members of the sugar mill, had on Thursday conducted a protest near the ED headquarters in south Mumbai. The protesters stated that all charges of wrongdoing against him are allegedly false and that he and the mill were being defamed.
A legislator from Kolhapur’s Kagal constituency, Mushrif had served as rural development minister in the previous Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government. The ED also has under its scanner alleged irregularities in the operation of the sugar mill, to which Mushrif’s three sons are linked. The agency had claimed suspicious transactions from two companies “without having substantial business” with the factory.
Bombay High Court granted Mushrif interim protection
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. HC had earlier passed an interim order for no coercive action in the cheating case.
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