A case of disproportionate assets was registered against Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Chhagan Bhujbal and 11 others by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on Thursday.
Apart from the former minister, several of his family members are named in the charges, including his wife Meena, his son and MLA Pankaj, his daughter-in-law Vishakha, and nephew and former MP Sameer Bhujbal.
“Investigations were conducted by the ACB on the assets owned by Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj Bhujbal, Sameer Bhujbal and other family members. It revealed that they had assets disproportionate to their known sources of income. Money was routed through companies with other co-accused by way of share subscription at high premium against cash,” read an ACB statement.
Also accused are chartered accountants Sunil Damodar Naik and Chandrashekhar Madanlal Sarda, hawala operator Suresh Jajodiya, controllers of various companies Pravinkumar Jain and Jagdishprasad Bhalchandra Purohit, Sanjeev Bimalkumar Jain, a financial consultant from Kolkata, and Kapil Rajprakash Puri, chief managing director of Spanco Limited.
All the accused were named based on the money-laundering investigation conducted by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in which the agency alleged that finances were arranged for Bhujbal-prompted companies by way of share subscription at high premium against cash and certain operators.
Claiming the information was based on Naik’s testimony, the agency further claimed that the operators controlled a number of companies which had dubious people as directors and fake addresses.
Naik had said these front companies would take cash and transfer equivalent funds to customer companies using a cheque, depending on the finance required. In return, the operators charged a commission ranging from 1% to 3%.
Bhujbal, who is in jail at Aurthur Road with his nephew Sameer, has been facing charges of money laundering in connection with the Maharashtra Sadan scam. Bhujbal allegedly received kickbacks from the contractor for constructing the Maharashtra Sadan building in Delhi at a cost of Rs 100 crore.