ED arrests NCP leader Eknath Khadse’s son-in-law in money laundering case

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Updated: July 07, 2021 12:39 PM

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested NCP leader Eknath Khadse's son-in-law Girish Chaudhary in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in a 2016 purchase of a land plot in Pune, officials said on Wednesday.

enforcement directorateThe officials alleged that Chaudhary was not cooperative during the questioning.

The ED has arrested NCP leader Eknath Khadse’s son-in-law Girish Chaudhary in a money laundering case linked to alleged irregularities in a 2016 purchase of a government land plot in Pune, officials said on Wednesday. They said Chaudhary was arrested on Tuesday night after being questioned at length in the case at the office of the central investigative agency in south Mumbai.

The officials alleged that Chaudhary was not cooperative during the questioning. He is expected to be produced before a special court that tries cases registered under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). Khadse, 68, had left the BJP to join the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) of former Maharashtra chief minister Sharad Pawar last year.

The ED case stems from a Pune police anti-corruption bureau (ACB) FIR filed against him, his wife Mandakini and Chaudhary in 2017. Khadse was questioned in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) early this year and his statement recorded. Khadse, the then state revenue minister, had resigned from the BJP leader and former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis-led Maharashtra cabinet in 2016 after facing allegations regarding the same land deal and some other issues.

It was alleged that he misused his official powers to facilitate the purchase of government land of the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) by his family in the Bhosari area, a suburb of Pune. Khadse denied any wrongdoing, saying that the state police ACB as well as the Income Tax department had given him a clean chit in the matter. The case dates back to May 2016, when Pune-based businessman Hemant Gawande filed a complaint with the Bund Garden police station in the city.

The businessman had alleged that Khadse misused his power as a minister and purchased a land plot owned by the MIDC in Bhosari area in the name of his relatives at Rs 3.75 crore against a market price of Rs 40 crore. Based on the complaint, the Pune ACB had registered an FIR against the three and the original land-owner, Abbas Ukkani, under various sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act and section 109 of the Indian Penal Code. The ACB, in April 2018, submitted a 22-page report before a Pune court after completion of investigation.

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