The Bombay High Court on Thursday stated the judiciary and companies just like the RBI, CBI and ED ought to act independently, and requested “what heavens are going to fall” if an interim safety from coercive motion is granted for a couple of days to NCP chief Eknath Khadse in an alleged land seize case of 2016.
A division bench of Justices S S Shinde and Manish Pitale was listening to a petition filed by Khadse, in search of to quash the Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) registered by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in October final yr.
Khadse’s counsel Aabad Ponda sought the court docket to grant the previous state income minister interim safety from any coercive motion, pending listening to of the plea.
The ED’s counsel, Anil Singh, advised the court docket that the company wouldn’t take any motion until Monday (January 25).
The bench whereas posting the petition for listening to on Monday, nevertheless, sought to know why the ED was insisting on safety to be granted solely until Monday.
“What heavens are going to fall if the petitioner is given protection for few more days? We are always of the belief that the judiciary and agencies like the RBI, CBI, ED and so on should act independently and impartially,” Justice Shinde stated.
“There is a threat to the very democracy if these agencies do not act independently,” the court docket added.
Khadse (68), who stop the BJP and joined the NCP In October 2020, appeared earlier than the ED in Mumbai on January 15 this yr to report his assertion within the alleged land seize case, pursuant to summons issued towards him.
The bench additional famous that the petitioner was cooperating with the probe and has additionally appeared earlier than the company for questioning.
“If somebody is ready to cooperate and honour summons then we ask ourselves what is the need for arrest,” the court docket stated.
“At the end of the day, he (Khadse) has cooperated and honoured the summons issued…he has appeared for questioning. We can understand if someone is not cooperating,” Justice Shinde stated.
Khadse in his plea claimed the land in query was bought by his spouse and son-in-law from the proprietor legally and there was no illegality within the process.
In reply to Khadse’s petition, the ED in its affidavit on Thursday stated an preliminary investigation has clearly revealed numerous evidences exhibiting cash laundering within the case.
The ED claimed the ECIR was registered in October 2020 towards Eknath Khadse, his spouse Mandakini Khadse and son-in-law Girish Choudhari within the alleged land seize case in Pune, inflicting a lack of ₹62 crore to the general public exchequer.
According to the company, the land was bought at a low fee of ₹3.75 crore with a felony intent to later search compensation from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC), which was to amass the land in future.
It alleged that Khadse misused his official place as state income minister in 2016.
“The petitioner (Khadse), using his official position and government machinery, manipulated the actual market price which was more than ₹31 crore at that time,” the affidavit stated.
It stated the petition in search of to quash the ECIR was untimely and therefore, must be dismissed.
Khadse in his petition claimed that an FIR was lodged in the identical case in 2017, however the police later filed a closure report earlier than a court docket in Pune.
The ED in its affidavit stated the court docket has until date not accepted the closure report and therefore, the FIR shouldn’t be closed.
The company additionally stated it was probing the cash laundering angle within the case.
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