Updated: October 8, 2021 1:11:39 am
THE INCOME Tax (I-T) department on Thursday searched premises linked to the son and three sisters of Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, and directors of sugar mills who are reportedly linked to him.
The tax agency searched a firm where Pawar’s son, Parth Pawar, is a director; a few firms owned by Pawar’s sisters; two real estate firms linked to Pawar; and directors of four sugar mills across the state indirectly linked to the Pawar family. The searches were conducted in Pune, Goa, Mumbai and Satara. Pawar said he has no problem with the searches against him but was upset that his sisters had been dragged into it. “We pay taxes every year. Since I am the finance minister, I am aware of the fiscal discipline. All entities linked to me have paid taxes,” he said.
“I am upset because (premises of) my sisters, who got married 35 to 40 years ago, have been raided. If they were raided as Ajit Pawar’s relatives, then people must think about it…the way the agencies are being used,” he said.
Sources said the tax department searched the directors of Jarandeshwar sugar mill, Pushpadanteshwar Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana Limited, Daund Sugar Private Limited and Ambalika Sugar Private Limited.
A few of these sugar mills are already under the scanner of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in connection with a money laundering case lodged into the alleged Rs 25,000-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank fraud. In July, the ED had provisionally attached land, machinery and buildings of Jarandeshwar Sahkari Sugar Karkhana (Jarandeshwar SSK) at Satara, worth Rs 65.75 crore, under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in a case related to the alleged fraud at MSC Bank.
In September 2019, a month before the Maharashtra Assembly polls, the ED had registered a money laundering case against NCP chief Sharad Pawar and his nephew Ajit Pawar in connection with the alleged scam.
According to the ED probe, MSC Bank sold Jarandeshwar SSK in 2010 through an auction at a lower price than fair value, without following any rules. At that time, Ajit Pawar was on the board of the bank.
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