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Ajit Pawar, others get clean chit in MSC Bank scam

11:57 PM Feb 18, 2021 | Sanjay Jog

Mumbai: Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar, rural development minister Hasan Mushrif, former MPs Vikaysinh Mohite Patil and Anandrao Adsul and about 72 others have been given a clean chit by the committee appointed by the Cooperation Department in the alleged Rs 25,000 crore Maharashtra State Co-operative Bank scam.

Earlier, the Special Investigation Team had given a clean chit in the same case. The police last year had filed a C summary in the special anti-corruption bureau (ACB) court after the EOW’s SIT found that no criminal aspect was to be investigated in the case.

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The committee headed by retired district judge Panditrao Jadhav has recently submitted its report to the Cooperation Department. The committee was formed in February 2020 after the announcement made by the former cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh (BJP).

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Pawar and others were on the board of directors of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. The board was subsequently dissolved in 2011 after a probe by National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) found the bank was in red with negative of ₹144 crore. The NABARD report indicated financial mismanagement on part of the board of directors which led to ballooning of non-performing assets. It was due to handing out loans to sugar co-operatives and spinning mills in violation of all norms.

The NABARD report had said that balance sheets had been fudged to show a profit of ₹2 crore when the bank was facing losses of ₹798 crore. The board had 76 directors, of whom 44 were elected representatives — 25 from the Nationalist Congress Party, 14 from the Congress, 2 each from the Bharatiya Janata Party and Peasants and Workers Party of India and one from the Shiv Sena.

Further, the board was allegedly held responsible for providing loans without taking any collateral and in some cases without any mortgage. These loans were disbursed between 2005 and 2010 when Congress-NCP was ruling the state.

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