ED summons Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew for questioning

Rohit has been asked to appear in the probe agency’s Mumbai office on January 24

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate has summoned Sharad Pawar’s grandnephew and Maharashtra legislator Rohit Pawar for questioning in connection with the alleged money laundering in the Maharashtra State Co-oeperative Bank. Rohit has been asked to appear in the probe agency’s Mumbai office on January 24.

The MSCB scandal pertains to loans given to sugar factories, allegedly without following procedure, by officials of the MSCB even after they turned into non-performing assets. The case against Rohit Pawar is that his firm ‘Baramati Agro Private Limited’ illegally diverted funds to finance another company’s bid to acquire ailing ‘Kannada Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana’. Baramati Agro provided the earnest deposits and also financed the purchases through case credit from different banks intended for working capital.

The complaint was registered following a high court order on August 22, 2019, to investigate the allegations that sugar factories in the Maharashtra cooperative sector had been sold through fraudulent means at throwaway prices. The ED probe in the case was based on a First Information Report (FIR) registered by the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai police on August 26, 2019.

The ED on January 5 conducted searches at six locations linked to Baramati Agro Private Limited in Baramati, Pune, Pimpri-Chinchwad, and Aurangabad. Rohit is the CEO of the firm and his father Rajendra Pawar is its MD.

Kannad SSK had taken a loan from the MSCB Bank and defaulted on the payment. In 2012, the bank sold the mill to Baramati Agro Ltd through a rigged auction for Rs 50 crore, which was allegedly much lower than the market price.

The NCP (Sharad Pawar) faction has backed Rohit and said that the BJP is scared of his recent stat-wide ‘Yuva Sangharsh Yatra’ and therefore targeting him. The 38-year-old is the first time MLA from Karjat-Jamkhed assembly constituency. He had led the foot march from Pune to Nagpur in November-December, 2023, to highlight the issues faced by youths in Maharashtra.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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