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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Pune land deal: ED files chargesheet against Khadse, others

The 1000-page chargesheet was filed against Khadse, his wife Mandakini and son-in-law Girish Chaudhari along with three companies named as accused, sources said.

Written by Khushboo Narayan , Sadaf Modak | Mumbai |
Updated: September 3, 2021 10:05:34 pm
Eknath Khadse, Pune land deal caseEknath Khadse was earlier given a clean chit by the Pune city police and the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) in the same land deal case. (Express Photo by Ganesh Shirsekar)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday filed its first prosecution complaint (chargesheet) against NCP leader Eknath Khadse and others in connection with a land deal in Pune.

The 1000-page chargesheet was filed against Khadse, his wife Mandakini and son-in-law Girish Chaudhari along with three companies named as accused, sources said.

The special court also rejected Chaudhari’s bail plea on Friday.

The ED has been probing Khadse’s and Chaudhari’s alleged role in buying land at Bhosari village in Pune for Rs 3.75 crore when its actual value was over Rs 31 crore. The ED has alleged the land was purchased in Chaudhari’s name and the money for the deal was allegedly routed through five shell companies.

The ED said that while Chaudhari has claimed the source of funds for purchasing the property was shown as a loan from some companies, it found that the funds used were layered and routed through shell companies, which have been struck off.

Last October, the ED had filed an Enforcement Case Information Report against Khadse, Mandakini, Chaudhari and Abbas Ukani in the alleged grab of Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation land at Bhosari village. Ukani is the original owner of the land.

The agency has alleged 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. The deal, according to the ED, has caused a loss of Rs 61.25 crore to the public exchequer.

Last month, the ED provisionally attached assets worth Rs 5.73 crore of Khadse, his wife and son-in-law in the case.

The ED chargesheet includes statements including those of the then Pune deputy collector, MIDC officials and others on the land title, its purchase and the meetings where the decision regarding the sale of the land was taken.

Chaudhari in his bail plea had said there were no irregularities in the land deal and that the case was filed due to political reasons.

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