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Money laundering case: ED to seek Bhujbal's custody; noisy scenes in Maharashtra assembly

Former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, Who Was Arrested By The Enforcement Directorate In Connection With Its Probe In A Money Laundering Case, Will Be Today Produced Before A Special PMLA Court Here.

PTI | Updated on: 15 Mar 2016, 01:05:18 PM
chhagan Bhujbal

Mumbai:

Former Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with its probe in a money laundering case, will be today produced before a special PMLA court here.

The agency, which placed the senior NCP leader under arrest last night after a marathon grilling session yesterday will seek his custody for further interrogation.

According to an ED official, the arrest of the ex-PWD minister was effected under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he allegedly refused to cooperate during the 10-hour questioning. The agency has also recorded his statement in the case.

The agency has filed two FIRs against Bhujbal, his son and nephew and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case.

The ED had registered a PMLA case involving the Bhujbals and some of their associates and has already arrested the ex-minister’s nephew Samir last month in the case.

Samir is currently lodged in the high security Arthur Road jail here.

The ED had also questioned Bhujbal’s son Pankaj in the same case last month. It had also brought out orders for attachment of three properties with an estimated worth of over Rs 280 crore in the case under money laundering laws.

ED had twice conducted searches at nine premises, including properties and offices, belonging to the senior Bhujbal, Pankaj, Samir and few others.

The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has already filed a charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Sameer and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case. The new Maharashtra Sadan was built at the cost of Rs 100 crore when Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.

Soon after Bhujbal was placed under arrest last night, NCP described the party leader’s arrest as “vendetta politics” by BJP, and said there was no need to arrest him as he was cooperating with the ED.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said, “Now it is the turn of irrigation scam’s Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare to follow Bhujbal.”

NCP activists today staged road blockades in Nashik district and Worli area here to protest against Bhujbal’s arrest. Also, a meeting of NCP legislators was held here to discuss his arrest.

Maharashtra Legislative Assembly today witnessed noisy scenes as opposition Congress and NCP members protested against the arrest of former state Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, leading the session to be adjourned for 10 minutes.

As soon as the House proceedings began, the opposition members started shouting slogans against Bhujbal’s arrest.

Speaker Haribhau Bagade tried to pacify them but as the din increased, he announced that the House was being adjourned for 10 minutes.

He said the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had informed him that Bhujbal has been arrested.

Earlier, the Congress and NCP legislators staged a protest on the steps of Vidhan Bhawan’s main entrance, against Bhujbal’s arrest.

They carried placards decrying the “fascist government” for arresting the senior NCP leader and shouted slogans condemning the “vendetta politics”.

Bhujbal was last night arrested by the ED here after 10 hours of questioning in connection with its probe in a money laundering case registered against him and others.

According to an ED official, the arrest of the former PWD minister was effected under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he allegedly refused to cooperate during questioning. The agency also recorded his statement in the case.

The agency has filed two FIRs against Bhujbal, his son and nephew and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case.

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First Published : 15 Mar 2016, 12:39:00 PM

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