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Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Pune land deal: Prima facie material shows Eknath Khadse misused post, says court

The court had last week rejected Girish Chaudhari's bail application in the money laundering case. The ED had also filed a prosecution complaint against him and others, including Khadse.

By: Express News Service | Mumbai |
September 9, 2021 1:15:58 am
Eknath Khadse. (File)

In its detailed order rejecting bail to NCP Minister Eknath Khadse’s son-in-law Girish Chaudhari – arrested by the ED in a land deal case – a special court has said that there is prima facie sufficient material to show that Khadse as then revenue minister had “taken disadvantage of his post, influenced the departments under his control for his personal interest”.

The court had last week rejected Chaudhari’s bail application in the money laundering case. The ED had also filed a prosecution complaint against him and others, including Khadse.

Khadse is alleged to have used his position to benefit his family members to own a plot of land at Bhosari in Pune. The court said that while the land in question was shown to have been stuck in litigation, a deal was struck benefiting his family.

“Even then immediately, his (Khadse’s) wife and applicant entered into registered sale deed in respect of the said land, completely ignoring the pendency of writ petition. All this clearly indicates that applicant (Chaudhari) can do anything for his personal scores and same will influence the trial, frustrating the very object thereof,” the court said.

It added, “In the result, I hold that with this glaring material and involvement of accused in an offence of money laundering under Section 3 punishable under Section 4 of PMLA, which is basically an economic offence wisely committed by misusing the position and powers by the responsible then revenue minister for the benefit of his consanguine i.e. wife and son-in-law. If bail is granted in such offence the same will convey a bad message to the law abiding society.”

The court said it also cannot be ignored that Khadse is part of the ruling party in Maharashtra. When he is alleged to have committed the offence, he was in the BJP.

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