Even the apex court of the land, on Monday refused to give any relief to Ajit Pawar and 69 others in a multi-crore Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank scam case, as the SC felt there is no need to interfere in the matter.
A SC bench comprising justices Arun Mishra and M R Shah heard the petition filed by some of the accused challenging the August 22 order of the Bombay High Court and concluded that there is no need to quash investigation. The court has ordered the police to conduct a “free and fair” probe.
Earlier, following the High Court order and subsequent nod from the state Chief Minister Economic Offences Wing had filed the FIR against Ajit Pawar and others under various Sections including 420, 506 409 465 etc on August 26.
A public clamour for arresting Ajit Pawar, meanwhile is growing in the state.
Ever since the inspection report by NABARD pointed out the complicity of Pawar and others for the loss of revenue to the tune of Rs 1000 crore of the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank, demand for a thorough investigation was felt. But the ruling BJP displayed the lack of guts to follow the matter to its logical conclusion and the credit goes to a lone petitioner. The scam spanned three fiscals including 2007-8, 2008-9 and 2009-10.
It deserves repetition that the board of directors, headed by NCP’s Manikrao Patil, was dissolved after the RBI rapped the bank over the knuckles for high negative net worth in 2012.
The board of directors is said to have set aside directives from NABARD in releasing loans to sugar mills and several other cooperatives.
Later, the bank was put under an administrative Board. Currently senior co-operator from Pune Vidyadhar Anaskar is the Chairman of the administrative board of Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank. Under Anaskar’s stewardship, MSCB has been doing quite well with its profit touching a figure of Rs 316 crore in the 2018-19 financial year.
Not only that, it registered a growth of 57 percent, but its total business mix also went up to a whopping Rs 35,540 crore surpassing several state cooperative banks in the country. With this turnover, MSCB has become the largest state cooperative bank in Asia.
The bank has a total network of 57 branches across Maharashtra.