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Maharashtra: Gilt scam case draws to a close, appointment of public prosecutor holding Cong post at last stage raises speculation

JUST AS the 19-year gilt rip-off case involving state minister for animal husbandry Sunil Kedar attracts to an in depth, the appointment of a brand new public prosecutor, who’s an office-bearer of the Congress celebration entrance, has raised many an eyebrow.

Asif Qureshi, chairperson of the authorized and human rights cell of the Congress and son of former Congress MLA Shaukat Qureshi, was lately appointed the brand new public prosecutor within the Nagpur District Central Cooperative Financial institution (NDCCB) gilt (authorities securities) rip-off case. Earlier on March 5, Jyoti Vajani, who was the general public prosecutor within the case for the previous two years put in her papers.

The case dates again to April 2002, when the alleged rip-off got here to gentle. The NDCCB gave Rs 124.60 crore to 5 middleman firms to buy authorities securities. The 5 firms, Dwelling Commerce Securities, Giltage Administration, Century Sellers, Syndicate Administration and Indramani Retailers, nonetheless, allegedly didn’t return to NDCCB with any securities. Of those, the utmost quantity of Rs 94 crore went to Dwelling Commerce Securities. Kedar was the chairperson of the financial institution again then.

Kedar was arrested on Could 3, 2002. A chargesheet was filed on November 22, 2002, however Kedar secured bail on the bottom that the chargesheet was not filed throughout the stipulated time of three months. The case has dragged on since then with 51 witnesses deposing earlier than the court docket and solely 5 to 6 remaining to be cross-examined.

Kedar has since received 4 occasions from Saoner constituency as Congress MLA and is now a minister within the MVA authorities.

In 2019, the Bombay Excessive Courtroom ordered day-to-day listening to of the case on a PIL searching for early disposal on the bottom that it concerned misappropriation of public funds. Since then, the listening to within the decrease court docket gathered steam and a judgment is anticipated anytime. Some delay was additionally attributable to Covid-19 pandemic. Qureshi’s appointment at this juncture, nonetheless, has raised hypothesis in regards to the authorities’s intentions.

Qureshi, who can be ex-chairperson of the bar council of Maharashtra and Goa, stated, “I’ve efficiently dealt with tasks as public prosecutor over the previous 15 years and have achieved a excessive price of conviction. That will have been the explanation why they approached me. If any battle of curiosity is surmised because of my holding the MPCC put up, I’m able to resign.”

Qureshi’s predecessor Jyoti Vajani stated, “I’ve resigned by myself because of private causes. There isn’t any query of being requested to resign.”

She added, “Some witnesses, about 5 to 6, stay to be examined. However due to the pandemic they will’t be compelled to return for the listening to.”

Legislation and judiciary division secretary Rajesh Laddha didn’t reply to calls and messages.

 

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