State cooperation minister Subhash Deshmukh has been given a clean chit by the Income Tax department in last month’s cash seizure case. The cash seized by a flying squad of the state election commission will return the amount, sources said. Deshmukh is the second BJP minister to get a clean chit from the government in a fortnight.
In November, banned bank notes amounting to Rs91.5 lakh was seized in Osmanabad from a van that belonged to the Lokmangal group, which Deshmukh used to head. The group claimed the cash belonged to cooperative credit banks it controlled, but the state election commission had doubts about whether the money would be used ahead of the municipal council elections. Osmanabad’s district collector then roped in the cooperation and I-T departments to probe the case.
The probe by the cooperation department found the cash belonged to banks and there was no irregularities in its transport. The I-T department too found no irregularities. “The transportation of cash was done in legitimate ways. We will release the money so no further complications arise,” said Prashant Narnaware, Osmananbad collector .
Deshmukh said there was no illegality involved and the cash belonged to banks. Rohan Deshmukh, his son, was made head after Deshmukh was sworn-in earlier this year. This clean chitcomes on the heels of the ACB clearing women and child development minister Pankaja Munde of irregularities in the chikki scam case.