State cooperative minister Subhash Deshmukh could be in trouble as the state election commission (SEC) has served a notice to a group formerly headed by him for transporting banned notes of over Rs91 lakh, which were seized on Wednesday. The election commission has directed the group to present its say in 24 hours.
Currency worth Rs91.50 lakh, comprising banned notes of Rs1,000 and Rs500 was seized by a SEC squad at Umaraga on Osmanabad-Tuljapur bypass road on Wednesday. The cash was being carried in a jeep with the logo of Lokmangal Multistate Credit Cooperative Society guarded by its two employees. The group is into various businesses including banking, sugar factories.
“The squad on election duty detained the employees and impounded the vehicle. The employees could not give appropriate explanation for carrying the demonetised notes. The group has been served a notice to present it reply,” said an official from Osmanabad collectorate.
Deshmukh, however, has clarified that he has relinquished his position as head of the group after swearing in as minister. “I have been in the political scene for more than 15 years and in the cooperative movement for many years. I have done nothing illegal in my entire life and am ready to face any action if found guilty,” he said.
The group said the money was collected from various branches of the banks and was taken to the head office in Lohara with valid receipts.
“We have received the reply from the group and it will be verified from two different agencies. Besides the registry of the cooperative credit societies, the report will also be verified from a third party agency to ascertain if the group had permission and capacity to carry the cash of that quantum. Once the varification reports are received, the further action will be taken in next couple of days, said Neelesh Shrimgi, returning officer, Osmanabad.