Maharashtra BJP leader Chitra Wagh’s kin booked by ACB in assets case
The anti-corruption bureau (ACB) has booked Kishore Wagh, the husband of Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Maharashtra vice-president Chitra Wagh, in a disproportionate assets case.
ACB said that Wagh, while serving at the state-run Mahatma Gandhi Memorial Hospital, Parel, as a medical records librarian, amassed assets worth ₹2.18 crore, which is 90% more than his legitimate sources of income.
Chitra Wagh, who had left Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in 2019 to join BJP, has termed the development a “witch-hunt” by the Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA) government (comprising NCP, Shiv Sena and Congress) because she has been demanding action against a Sena minister in the suicide case of a TikTok star.
“My husband is not guilty. The main accused in the case has been spared and my husband is being targeted instead,” she alleged.
However, state Congress spokesperson Sachin Sawant in a tweet has claimed that the open inquiry against Kishore Wagh had started in 2016, when BJP-Sena government was in power.
“Had Chitratai not entered BJP, the [Devendra] Fadnavis government would have registered an offence back then. It was only because of the inordinate delay on the part of the then BJP government and later the Covid-19 pandemic that the registration of an FIR (first information report) was delayed,” read Sawant’s tweet.
According to the ACB’s FIR (of which HT as a copy), Kishore Wagh had been arrested by the agency in 2016 for his alleged role in accepting a bribe of ₹4 lakh from the brother of a patient who had died at the Parel hospital. Following this, Kishore Wagh, the hospital’s medical superintendent Gajanan Bhagat and another person, Sandesh Kambale, had been arrested. ACB officers had then searched Kishore Wagh’s house located at the hospital’s staff quarters, where Chitra Wagh and their son Aditya lived and had seized incriminating documents, the agency claimed. Following this, senior ACB officers had ordered an open inquiry against Kishore Wagh, who is under suspension from the hospital since his arrest in 2016.
During inquiry, ACB officials analysed Kishore Wagh’s income and ancestral property from December 1, 2006, to July 5, 2016, to investigate the alleged illegal income growth.
“The open inquiry found that Kishore Wagh had not disclosed information about his assets to the government. He also did not take permission from the officials concerned before going abroad. He had also failed to disclose the details of withdrawals, purchase and deposits in his bank account when ACB had written te to him seeking the same,” stated assistant commissioner of police (ACB) Navnath Jagtap, the complainant, in the FIR.
The inquiry concluded that between December 1, 2006, and July 5, 2016, Kishore Wagh amassed assets worth ₹2.18 crore, which is 90% excess to his known source of Income. These assets are located in Nashik, Mumbai and Pune, the FIR stated.
Kishore Wagh has been booked under the relevant sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act, 1988.