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File FIR in MSCB scam in 5 days, HC tells EOW

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Aug 23, 2019, 6:06 am IST
Updated : Aug 23, 2019, 6:06 am IST

Besides these politicians, several senior cooperative bank officials from 34 districts in the state have also been named as accused.

Bombay high court
 Bombay high court

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has directed the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to register an FIR in the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) scam — in which several top leaders of various parties are allegedly involved — within five days.

Nationalist Congress Party’s (NCP) Ajit Pawar, Hasan Mushrif, Vijay Singh Mohite-Patil, Rajendra Shin-gane, Sadashivrao Mand-lik and Diliprao Sopal; the Congress’ Madhukar Chavan, Dilip Deshmu-kh and Vijay Waddett-iwar; Shiv Sena’s Anandrao Adsul, the Peasants and Workers Party’s Jayant Patil and the Bharatiya Janata Party’s Rajan Teli are some of the accused in the case. The court held that prima facie, there was “credible evidence” against them in the case.

Besides these politicians, several senior cooperative bank officials from 34 districts in the state have also been named as accused.

A division bench of Justices S.C. Dharma-dhikari and S.K. Shinde was hearing a PIL filed by activist Surinder Arora, who had filed a complaint with the EOW in the case in 2015. Mr Arora later approached the high court seeking the registration of an FIR against the accused, who n Turn to Page 3
he said were responsible for causing losses worth thousands of crores to the MSCB between 2007 and 2011.

A parallel inspection conducted by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) and a chargesheet filed by a quasi-judicial inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act blamed political leaders, including several who were directors of the bank. It said their decisions, actions and inaction had caused massive losses to the financial institute.

The NABARD’s audit report exposed the breach of several banking laws and Reserve Bank of India (RBI) guidelines by the accused while disbursing loans to sugar factories and spinning mills, and the subsequent default on their repayment and recovery.

At that time, Mr Pawar was the director of the bank. However, despite inspection reports, no FIR was filed in the case.

In light of this, the high court observed, “After perusing the chargesheet, NABARD report and the inquiry report of the police, we found that there is substance in the complaint. Therefore, we direct the Economic Offence Wing to register an FIR within five days.”

Tags: bombay high court, economic offence wing