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Mumbai: Section 144 imposed in the city ahead of Sharad Pawar’s visit to ED office in money laundering case

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister and his nephew, former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, were named in the Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.

Ahead of Sharad Pawar’s visit to the Enforcement Directorate (ED) office in connection with the money laundering case, prohibitory orders are put in force in South Mumbai. The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief is to visit the ED office today in Mumbai’s Ballard Estate area.

Mumbai Police, in a tweet last night, said that section 144 of the IPC has been imposed in Colaba, Cuffe Parade, Marine Drive, Azad Maidan, Dongri, JJ Marg and MRA Marg. The prohibitory orders were placed in view of security situation in South Mumbai where the ED office is situated. Pawar is visiting the ED office even though he is not summoned yet. Earlier this week, he had expressed his ‘desire’ to experience how it feels being jailed. In a sarcastic comment, he had said that he “wants to go to jail as he has ‘never had this experience before’.”

The former Maharashtra Chief Minister and his nephew, former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar, were named in the Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam. A case under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) has been registered against the accused.

In August, the Mumbai Police had filed a case against Ajit Pawar and 70 others in the bank scam.  Scrutiny carried out by the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD), and a charge sheet filed by a quasi-judicial enquiry commission under the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies (MCS) Act held Pawar and other accused, including several directors of the bank responsible for the loss. It stated that because of their decisions, actions and inactions, massive losses were incurred to the bank.

An audit report by NABARD revealed flagrant violations of several banking laws and RBI norms by the accused in the allotment of loans to sugar factories and spinning mills and the ensuing default on repayment and recovery of such loans. During that time, Ajit Pawar was the director of the bank.

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