New Delhi: In a major development before the Maharashtra elections, the Enforcement Directorate has registered a money laundering case against NCP chief, Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar.
Several other politicians and officials have been booked in the case known as the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam worth around Rs 25,000 crore.
The move by the ED came in the wake of the Bombay High Court ordering the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police to probe and file cases against Pawar and others in the matter.
Following the FIR by the EOW, the ED filed its case. The HC was approached by a Mumbai based activist, Surinder Arora seeking an investigation into the case. Following the order of the ED, Ajit Pawar had moved the Supreme Court seeking to quash proceedings.
However the court declined to grant relief and ordered the Mumbai police to conduct a free and fair probe.
According to the ED, there were several irregularities in the loans provided to the cooperative sugar factories by the MSCB off coals. The loans were sanctioned to the factories despite the finances being weak. Further additional benefits were extended without any justification, the ED has also said.