The ongoing Enforcement Directorate (ED) probe in connection with the money laundering case linked to Rahul Nanda’s TopsGrup Security Services Limited (TGSSL) has taken a new twist after Shiv Sena MLA Pratap Sarnaik on Thursday lodged a complaint with Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray against the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) commissioner RA Rajeev for alleged breach of secrecy by sharing key government information to the media. Sarnaik, who has been questioned earlier by ED in a similar case, has urged Thackeray to order an inquiry by the Chief Secretary and take legal action against Rajeev.
Sarnaik in a complaint referred to Rajeev’s press statement in which he had said that clean chit has not been given to TopsGrup & Sarnaik in the money laundering case. Rajeev went to the ED office on February 16 and recorded his statement in this regard. Sarnaik added that Rajeev’s statement appeared in the press on February 17.
Sarnaik said ED had observed that a security contract was awarded to TopsGrup for six years comprising 2014-17 and 2017-2020. Despite ED’s statement, Sarnaik claimed that Rajeev told reporters that the contract was for 2014-17 when UPS Madan was MMRDA Commissioner and he was appearing at ED in the latter’s absence. "This is wrong as Rajeev himself was the MMRDA Commissioner during 2018-2020 and the case was during his tenure,’’ Sena MLA added.
Sarnaik said that by sharing key government information it seems Rajeev was allegedly providing inputs to the opposition parties to bring the state government into trouble during the ensuing budget session of the state legislature beginning March 1. "It is learnt that after Rajeev’s approval, MMRDA officers have submitted papers to ED and Economic Offence Wing of the Mumbai Police in connection with TopsGrup case. "Is there any inquiry conducted by MMRDA in this case? Which officers did it? After receiving the probe report, has it been submitted to the state government? Such questions do arise,’’ he opined.
According to ED, TGSSL and MMRDA signed a contract in 2014, as per which about 350-500 guards had to be deployed at MMRDA sites every month. Of these, only 70% of guards were deployed, but the billing was done for all the guards as per the contract.