The Bombay high court (HC) on Thursday sought from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) a detailed report of status of its investigation against former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and others in connection with the money laundering charges.
A division bench of chief justice Manjula Chellur and justice MS Sonak directed additional solicitor general Anil Singh, who represented the ED, to file a status report disclosing how many people have been arrested by the enforcement agency so far and how many accused were at large, and how many properties it has attached so far.
The court was hearing a public interest litigation filed by local office-bearers of Aam Admi Party alleging that substantial amounts – mostly in crores – had been transferred from major PWD contractors to the entities like Chhagan Bhujbal Welfare Foundation, Parvesh Constructions owned and controlled by close relatives of the NCP leader and a company having his son Pankaj and nephew Sameer as directors.
During the course of hearing on the PIL, petitioner’s lawyer Vijay Hiremath complained about slow place of ED’s investigation in the money laundering cases involving Bhujbals. He pointed out that the Maharashtra Anti Corruption Bureau has completed their investigation and filed charge-sheets, but ED was yet to complete its investigation and was yet to attach several of the tainted properties.
Anil Singh said the ED has attached Solitaire Building at Andheri after its investigation revealed that it was purchased by Bhujbals using tainted funds. He said some other properties are also attached, but could not provide specific information.