MSCB Scam Case: Mumbai Court Grants Bail to NCP Leader Prajakt Tanpure, Ors

Prajakt Tanpure

A special court in Mumbai has granted bail to former Maharashtra minister and NCP leader Prajakt Tanpure and his father Prasad Tanpure in connection with the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam case.

Special judge R N Rokde has also granted bail to other accused, including Congress leader Ranjeet Deshmukh, Shiv Sena leader Arjunrao Panditrao Khotkar, builder Jugal Kishor Tapadiya, and industrialist Padmakar Muley.

Following the Enforcement Directorate’s (ED) filing of two supplementary chargesheets, the court, last month, directed the accused to appear before it on January 12. Subsequently, the accused presented themselves in court and sought bail after their appearance. Despite being named as accused in the chargesheets, neither Tanpure nor the other accused have been arrested by the investigating agency.

Tanpure, formerly a junior minister of state for urban development, energy, tribal development, higher and technical education, and disaster management in the erstwhile Maha Vikas Aghadi government. His father, Prasad Tanpure, is a former Member of Parliament.

The case revolves around an alleged scam in the Sahakari Sakhar Karkhana (SSK) — co-operative sugar factories — and Sahakari Soot Girnis. The ED’s actions are based on an FIR filed by the Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on August 26, 2019, under the Indian Penal Code and Prevention of Corruption Act, following a Bombay High Court order on August 22 that year.

The FIR was registered over allegations that cooperative sugar factories known as Sahkari Sakhar Karkhana (SSKs) were fraudulently sold by then officials and directors of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) at throwaway prices to related entities without following due procedure. Investigations conducted under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act revealed that MSCB auctioned Ram Ganesh Gadkari SSK in 2007 at an undervalued price and without following due process. The SSK was sold to Prasad Sugar and Allied Agro Products Ltd, a firm of Prajakt Tanpure, for a mere Rs 12.95 crore against the reserve price of Rs 26.32 crore.

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About the Author: Nunnem Gangte