The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a case of money laundering against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar, MP, his nephew and former deputy chief minister of Mahashtra Ajit Pawar, and others in a criminal case in connection with the Rs 25000-crore scam pertaining to the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB).Officials said an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR), the equivalent of a police FIR, has been registered by the central agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against all the accused. The case is based on a Mumbai Police FIR that had named the then directors of the bank, Ajit Pawar, and 70 former functionaries of the cooperative bank. Sharad Pawar,78, former chief minister of Maharashtra & Union Minister, has been named in the ED FIR on the basis of the police FIR.The registration of the case comes ahead of the October 21 Assembly polls in Maharashtra.It is understood that the accused will soon be summoned by the agency to record their statements, reports NEWS 18.Diliprao Deshmukh, Isharlal Jain, Jayant Patil, Shivaji Rao, Anand Rao Adsul, Rajendra Shingane and Madan Patil are among the accused in the ED case.The Mumbai Police last month had registered an FIR against Ajit Pawar and other functionaries in the MSCB scam case on the directions of the Bombay High Court.
Reacting to the FIR , Pawar sarcastically said “thanked” the central agency for naming him in the case relating to the bank of which he “is not a member and was not involved in its decision-making” in any way.The Maharashtra unit of the ruling BJP justified the Enforcement Directorate action saying it acting as per rules and procedure.”I thank the probe agencies because they have involved my name in a case relating to such a bank of which I am not even a member of, I was not involved in its decision-making,” Sharad Pawar told reporters.”If they have filed a case against me too, I welcome it. I would have been surprised had such action not been taken against me after the kind of response I receive during my visits to various districts of the state,” Pawar added. He will continue campaigning for the October 21 assembly polls in Maharashtra. Other accused include Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) leader Jayant Patil and officials from the superseded bank’s units in 34 districts in the state, an official said.The accused were allegedly complicit in causing losses to the tune of Rs 1,000 crore to MSCB between 2007 and 2011.It is alleged that there were irregularities in loan disbursements to cooperative sugar factories, and that loans were sanctioned despite them having weak financials. In many cases, loans were sanctioned without any collateral. The cooperative sugar factories were allegedly sold to close relatives of certain politicians. An inspection by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as well as a charge sheet filed by a quasi-judicial inquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act had earlier blamed the “decisions, actions and inactions” of Pawar and the other accused for the loss. News 18 says the NABARD audit report revealed breach of several banking laws and RBI guidelines by the accused in distribution of loans to sugar factories and spinning mills, and subsequent default on repayment and recovery of such loans. Local activist Surinder Arora filed a complaint with the EOW in 2015 and approached the high court, seeking that an FIR be registered. The NABARD audit report revealed breach of several banking laws and RBI guidelines by the accused in distribution of loans to sugar factories and spinning mills, and subsequent default on repayment and recovery of such loans.