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Charges against those holding high offices politically motivated: Police

The complainant in the case, Surinder Arora, through his lawyer Subhash Talekar, had filed a protest petition against the EOW's closure report, stating that the probe was not impartially conducted since the men named are from the state’s coalition government.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
Updated: January 29, 2021 10:30:24 pm
Ajit Pawar. Mumbai police, mumbai police Economic Offences Wing, Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank case, MSCB, indian express newsThe Enforcement Directorate's plea seeking intervention in the proceedings was rejected last year by the court on the same ground. (File)

THE ECONOMIC Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police said allegations naming those “holding high offices” in the protest petitions filed against the closure report it gave in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) case are “politically motivated”. The EOW had last year filed a summary report before the special court in Mumbai, stating that no criminal offence is made in the case where over 70 persons, including Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and other political leaders, were named.

The complainant in the case, Surinder Arora, through his lawyer Subhash Talekar, had filed a protest petition against the EOW’s closure report, stating that the probe was not impartially conducted since those named are from the state’s coalition government.

“The investigating agency was not concerned with anyone’s political affiliation but were indeed concerned with the illegal acts if any committed by them constituting criminal offence. The allegations made by naming persons holding responsible post and high offices are baseless,” the EOW said in its reply to the protest petition filed on Friday through special public prosecutor Ajay Misar. In its closure report, the EOW said no criminal offence is found in the bank’s transactions as alleged, and has sought the case to be closed.

It also countered the allegation in the protest petition that one of the prime witnesses in the case was an “interested witness”. The EOW said the bank’s managing director Ajit Deshmukh, whose statement was recorded at length by the agency, had worked at the bank’s various departments for over 30 years and had expert knowledge about its working.

“….the approach of the protest petitioner is to fix the criminals first and then somehow connect them to the alleged crime. Thus, it is an obvious attempt to scandalise and malign the persons holding offices,” the EOW reply said, calling the allegations “defamatory”.

It also countered the allegation that the witnesses’ statements were similar, claiming that the members of the investigating team were briefed by the main investigating officer regarding the specific queries to be sought details on. “If the fact is the same, the answer to the fact would naturally be the same…it would have been senseless to record the statements of multiple witnesses on a single point however the investigating agency has ensured that witnesses who are relevant for the purpose of understanding and explaining various transactions are examined,” the EOW said.

The EOW has also opposed other protest petitions filed by persons, including a chairman of one of the sugar cooperatives, stating that they do not have a locus standi. The Enforcement Directorate’s plea seeking intervention in the proceedings was rejected last year by the court on the same ground.

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