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Shiv Sena MP conspired to illegally convert trust to company: ED

12:56 AM Sep 29, 2021 | Bhavna Uchil

Mumbai: Shiv Sena Member of Parliament from Yavatmal, Washim Bhavana Gawali, conspired to convert a public trust of which she was the chairperson into a company using forged documents to gain control of its assets worth Rs 69 crore, the Enforcement Directorate told a special court on Tuesday while seeking custody of her close aide Saeed Khan.

The agency claimed numerous documents including No-Objection Certificates from a bank and the Charity Commissioner’s office, were forged by Khan and others to convert the trust. The trust, Mahila Utkarsha Pratishthan, had 11 trustees having equal powers, but the company, incorporated in January last year, has only two directors - Khan and the MP’s mother Shalinitai Gawali, while the MP herself is a member of the company. Among the documents forged for the conversion is also a NOC by the trustees.

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“The trust has underlying assets of Rs 69 crore and is running various institutions. Thus with this forgery, the property of the trust came under the exclusive control of Saeed Khan and Shalini Gawali,” the agency stated in its remand report to the court.

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Citing a statement of the trust’s statutory auditor that the ED questioned during its probe, it said that in August 2010, the MP fraudulently acquired Balaji Sahakari Karkhana worth Rs 50 crore for Rs 25 lakh. She signed in the capacity of the chairman of the liquidator board and her PS Ashok Gandole signed as the director of the company, owned and controlled by Gawali, which purchased the property at Rs. 25 lakh.

The agency said during its probe some other facts emerged. Risod Urban Co-Operative Bank had given a guarantee of Rs 6.84 crore for taking over of Balaji Shahkari Particle Karkhana by Bhawana Agro and Services Pvt. Ltd. Probe found, it said, that the MP was the chairperson of the liquidation committee that sold the assets of the Karkhana at a meagre Rs 7.09 crore to Bhawana Agro. The agency said Bhawana Agro was owned and controlled by the MP and she was also the president of the bank that gave the guarantee. Further, as per its initial findings, the money has still not been paid to Balaji Shahkari Particle Board, it said.

Appearing of Khan, his advocate Sajal Yadav told the court that the arrest was political as Khan is affiliated with a state party and the government at the Centre is of a different political colour. He further said it is well known that the Central government has three hitmen - the CBI, ED and SFIO. The court remanded Khan in the ED’s custody till Friday.

Also Read: FPJ Legal: Shiv Sena MP Bhavana Gawali's aide Saeed Khan remanded to ED custody till October 1

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