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Tuesday, August 03, 2021

Eknath Khadse son-in-law sent to further ED custody till July 15 in Pune land deal case

While the ED sought further custody of Chaudhri for another nine days, the agency was granted his custody till Thursday.

By: Express News Service | Pune |
July 12, 2021 5:53:42 pm
Girish ChaudhriThe Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday arrested Nationalist Congress Party leader Eknath Khadse's son-in-law Girish Chaudhary and produced him before Court in a money laundering case. (Express Photo By Ganesh Shirsekar)

A special court on Monday sent Girish Chaudhri, NCP leader Eknath Khadse’s son-in-law, to further custody of the Enforcement Directorate till July 15. Chaudhri was arrested last week in connection with a case pertaining to a 2016 land deal in Pune.

While the ED sought further custody of Chaudhri for another nine days, the agency was granted his custody till Thursday.

Last October, the ED had filed an Enforcement Case Information Report against Khadse, his wife, Mandakini, Chaudhri and Abbas Ukani in the case alleging grab of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation land at Bhosari village in Pune. The ED claimed that Chaudhri had received a portion of the money used for buying the plot from Benchmark Buildicon Private Limited, a company that had no operating income and did not exist at its registered address. The probe found that Benchmark Buildicon had in turn received the money from five companies.

It also claimed that the land was registered at a much lower rate of Rs 3.75 crore against its prevailing value of Rs 31 crore. The ED had sought Chaudhri’s custody seeking further probe into the source of the funds used to buy the land and into its undervaluation.

On Monday, it sought for further custody of Chaudhri stating that it wants to record statements of officials of the MIDC as well as the then deputy collector. His lawyer, Mohan Tekavde, opposed the ED plea for remand stating that his custodial interrogation was not required.

Chaudhri’s lawyer also made a plea for providing legal assistance to him during interrogation. “Considering the settled legal position, the advocate of the accused is ordered to remain present only for two hours during the interrogation of the accused by ED. However, he shall remain present in a manner that the accused is visible and not audible,” the court said.

The ED alleges that Khadse, who was the state revenue minister in 2016, by using his official position and government machinery, manipulated the actual market price of the land causing a loss of Rs 61.25 crore to the public exchequer. Last week, the ED summoned Khadse and questioned him for nine hours.

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