Former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal, who was arrested by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a money laundering case, will be produced before a special PMLA court in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The agency, which placed the senior NCP leader under arrest last night after a marathon grilling session on Monday, will seek his custody for further interrogation.
According to an ED official, the arrest of the ex-PWD minister was effected under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he allegedly refused to cooperate during the 10-hour questioning. The agency has also recorded his statement in the case.
The agency has filed two FIRs against Bhujbal, his son, nephew and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land-grabbing case.
The ED had registered a PMLA case involving the Bhujbals and some of their associates and has already arrested the ex-minister’s nephew Samir last month.
Samir is currently lodged in the high security Arthur Road jail in Mumbai.
The ED had also questioned Bhujbal’s son Pankaj in the same case last month. It brought out orders for attachment of three properties with an estimated worth of over Rs 280 crore in the case under money laundering laws.
ED had twice conducted searches at nine premises, including properties and offices belonging to the senior Bhujbal, Pankaj, Samir and others.
The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has already filed a charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Sameer and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case. The new Maharashtra Sadan was built at the cost of Rs 100 crore when Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.
Soon after Bhujbal was placed under arrest on Monday night, NCP described the party leader’s arrest as “vendetta politics” by BJP and said there was no need to arrest him as he was cooperating with the ED.
BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said, “Now it is the turn of irrigation scam’s Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare to follow Bhujbal.”
NCP activists staged road blockades on Tuesday in Nashik district and Worli area of Mumbai to protest against Bhujbal’s arrest. A meeting of NCP legislators was held in Mumbai to discuss his arrest.