ED ties 90 acres to former Ram Ganesh Gadkari sugar factory

Staff reporter:

Another NCP minister Prajakt Tanpure faces heat from Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam

IN YET another jolt to the tripartite government of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA), the Enforcement Directorate (ED) has tied up the assets including 90 acres of land of former Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana held on behalf of Takshshila Securities Pvt Ltd and 4.6 acres of non-agricultural land (worth Rs 7.6 crore) owned by Maharashtra Minister Prajakt Tanpure on Monday. The ED investigation revealed that the Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank (MSCB) auctioned Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana at an undervalued price and without following due process in 2007. It was found that Part of the funds to buy the Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK) also came from former Maharashtra minister and top Congress leader Ranjit Deshmukh. He was President of Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana from 1995 to 2004.

Investigating the alleged scam in MSCB, ED had launched the investigation under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) which is based on the FIR registered on August 26, 2019 by the Economic Crimes Wing ( EoW) of the Mumbai Police. The Mumbai Police EoW had registered the case under Sections 120(b), 420, 467,468, 471 of the Indian Penal Code read with Sections 13(1)(b) and 13(1)(c) ) of the Prevention of Corruption Act. pursuant to order of the Bombay High Court (dated 22nd August 2019) on allegations that cooperative sugar factories (known as Sahakari Sakhar Karkhanas) were sold by MSCB officers and directors at prices derisory payments to entities without following due process. The Mumbai EoW had filed a closure report in court which is pending. Minister of State for Urban Development and Energy, Prajakt Tanpure is the fourth leader of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) led by Sharad Pawar to face the heat of the central agency.

While Maharashtra minister Nawab Malik was arrested last week on money laundering charges, his former colleague Anil Deshmukh has been detained in a separate case and sugar candy linked to the state’s Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, was also joined by the ED last year in the alleged MSCB scam. Case. Tanpure, who was interviewed earlier in this case by the agency, is an NCP MP from the Rahuri Assembly seat. According to ED, 90 acres of former Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK) land held in the name of Takshshila Securities Pvt. Ltd, and two plots of non-agricultural land of 4.6 acres in Ahmednagar district belonging to Prajakt Tanpure worth Rs 7.6 crore were seized. The total value of attached assets is around Rs 13.41 crore. In an official press release, ED said that MSCB undertook the auction of the Ram Ganesh Gadkari Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana was sold to Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products Ltd, a company of Prajakt Tanpure (son of Prasad Tanpure) for Rs 12.95 crore against the reserve price. of Rs 26.32 crore. The agency said its investigation revealed that Prasad Sugar was the “sole bidder” and to project the competitive bidding process, the signature of a “second bidder” was affixed by MSCB officials on the tender documents.

“This ‘second bidder’ failed to deposit the required earnest money deposit (EMD) amount and turned out to be an agent of Prasad Sugar. “Although the auction took place in 2007, Prasad Sugar made payment for the auction amount in 2010 against the legal condition of making payment within 52 days,” the agency said. The money trail investigation revealed that the fund used by Prasad Sagar for the payment was mostly received from other parties “without any justification”. “Prasad Sugar is a family entity of Shri Prasad Tanpure, who was one of the prominent and influential board members of MSCB during the period August 2004 to March 2010,” he added. The agency claimed that after taking possession of all the assets of Ramganesh Gadkari SSK, the plant and machinery was dismantled, transported and installed in a new location in Vambori, Ahmednagar. “The land and the structure were sold to Takshshila Securities in 2011,” he said. The ED last year tied a candy worth more than Rs 65 crore to the deal, saying a company linked to Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his wife were involved.

Rachel J. Bradford