Though the firm under the scanner in the latest allegations in the multi-crore irrigation scam, the Pune-based Raj Group, has denied having any business links with former Deputy Chief Minister Ajit Pawar and his family, documents from the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) reveal otherwise.
MCA records show that Jagdish Kadam, one of the directors of the firm, has a long-standing business association with the Pawars, Ajit and his wife Sunetra, through a web of companies. He is also Pawar’s maternal uncle’s son.
Kadam’s business association with the Pawars dates back to 2000, when he was taken on as a director of Non Con Energies, a company of which both Ajit and Sunetra were directors earlier. The other Raj Group director, Ram Udaysinh Nimbalkar’s business ties with the Pawars are at least on paper more recent.
Kadam has served as a director of at least seven firms with Sunetra Pawar and continues to hold the positions even after her exit. These companies are into real estate, infrastructure, plantations, roads; but little else is known about their projects. HT had reported that Ajit Pawar exited these companies in 2009 and his wife between 2008 and 2014.
Nimbalkar was taken on as additional director of two companies where Sunetra was a director earlier, Kalpavruksha Promoters and Sujay Agro in 2014,.
Kadam and Nimbalkar are directors together of at least 15 other companies. While they said that their firm was in business from 1988, MCA documents show that many of the firms, including Raj Infrastructure Private Limited, Raj Infrastructural Technologies (India) Private Limited, were set up in 2000 or later.
Activist Anjali Damania, who has filed a complaint with the government against Pawar, alleged that the web of 60-odd companies are indirectly under his control. “I have demanded filing of an FIR under the Prevention of Corruption Act against Pawar for giving undue benefit to a firm owned by his kin. I have also asked for a probe into web of companies and the assets of all directors,” said Damania at a press conference on Friday.
A web of companies:
* Two directors, Jagdish Kadam and Ram Nimbalkar, of Raj Group, which bagged irrigation contracts worth Rs 803 crore during the Congress-NCP tenure, have been found on the board of several companies that seem to be linked to former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar.
* The companies have interests in sugar, real estate, infrastructure, hydro, wind power projects.
Records of ministry of corporate affairs shows:
* Ajit Pawar was a director on five companies Fire Power Marketing India Pvt Ltd, Non Con Energies (India) Pvt Ltd, Fire Power Properties Pvt Ltd, Fire Power Agrotech Pvt Ltd and Fire Power Agri Farms Pvt Ltd. He exited these firms on June 22, 2009
* In one of these firms, Non Con Energies, his maternal cousin and director of Raj Group, Pune, Jagdish Kadam, has been a co-director since the firm was set up in 2000
* Pawar’s wife Sunetra was a director on 20 of these companiesShe exited them in phases mostly in 2008 and last in 2014. These include the five in which Pawar was a director and Jay Agro, Sujay Realty, SAP Mercantile, Fire Power Estate Pvt Ltd, SAP Properties Pvt Ltd, Kalpa Vruksha Properties Pvt Ltd, Kalpa Vruksha Promoters Pvt Ltd, Parth Agro Estates Pvt Ltd, Sujay Agro Estates Pvt Ltd, Air City Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, BFS Chemicals Pvt Ltd, Baramati Hitech Textile Park Pvt Ltd, Vie Creation Pvt Ltd, Heerkani Real Estate Pvt Ltd, Su-Tara Agro Pvt Ltd
* Kadam was a director on at least seven of these companies and continues on their board. These include Non Con Energies, Sujay Agro Estates Pvt Ltd, Air City Infrastructures Pvt Ltd, Kalpa Vruksha Promoters Pvt Ltd, Parth Agro Estates Pvt Ltd, Kalpa Vruksha Properties Pvt Ltd, Sujay Realty.
* Ram Nimbalkar is a director of at least 15 companies. He was taken as an additional director on two companies, Kalpa Vruksha Promoters Pvt Ltd and Sujay Agro Estates Pvt Ltd, on which Sunetra was a director earlier
* Nimbalkar and Kadam are together as directors on at least 15 companies