MSC Bank case: EOW did not consider proof, Anna Hazare tells court
Social activist Anna Hazare on Saturday claimed before a special anti-corruption bureau (ACB) court that he had on the basis of documentary evidence revealed the involvement of several political leaders in the alleged fraud at Maharashtra State Cooperative (MSC) Bank, but the economic offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police “did not even touch the allegations”.
Advocate Satish Talekar submitted that Hazare was the first person to raise the issue of large-scale irregularities at MSC Bank, especially with regards to the sale of the mortgaged cooperative sugar factories. Talekar added that on the basis of documentary evidence, Hazare had pointed out to high court the involvement of several political leaders. However, the investigating agency has claimed that there was no evidence of any criminality, without considering the material submitted by the social activist.
Talekar was arguing the protest petition filed by Hazare, opposing a report submitted by EOW, seeking to close the criminal case involving elected representatives of almost all political parties in the state.
Mumbai Police’s EOW had last September filed a closure report in the alleged Rs25,000-crore MSC Bank fraud case. The police filed a C summary (closure report) in the special ACB court after EOW’s special investigation team (SIT) found no criminal aspect to be investigated in the case.
The original complainant, along with other activists, had filed a protest petition asking the court to reject the report. Along with this, Hazare too approached the court earlier this week pleading it to discard the report and asked the police for further investigation, claiming that the closure report is filed under political pressure.
Hazare has claimed that he is the original complainant in this case and had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in 2018. He has alleged that the report has been filed without taking his statement.
“The IO (investigating officer) has deliberately given a colour of civil liability to the criminal acts pure and simple. The mens rea [criminal intent] as well as actus reus (criminal act) being present in the criminal actions of the accused, no other conclusion than commission of offences can be inferred,” Hazare has claimed in the petition.
The petition further stated that, “The illegalities committed either in sanction of illegal loans or illegal sale of sugar units were part of the larger conspiracy. The modus operandi of granting illegal loans in the name of a cooperative, Sugar Sahakari Karkhana (SSK), though intended for personal use of directors, non-repayment of dues causing sickness of SSKs and sale of SSKs at throwaway prices to their asides and associates who were on the earlier board of directors of the SSK or the MSC Bank or their kin or their party men was nothing but criminal conspiracy within the meaning of section 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.”
The special court has now posted the matter for further hearing on March 15.