Mumbai: In the season of scams, Union Minister Sharad Pawar and his close relatives were on Thursday dragged into a corruption scandal by a former IPS officer-turned-lawyer for benefitting a private developer by allegedly bestowing undue favours for the controversial Lavasa hill city project.
YP Singh, a former IPS officer of Maharashtra cadre, alleged that Ajit Pawar, irrigation minister and nephew of Sharad Pawar, allotted 141 hectares (348 acres) of land belonging to Maharashtra Krishna Valley Development Corporation on a renewable lease of 30 years to the Lake City Corporation in 2002, violating a Supreme Court Judgement.
The company which later came to be known as Lavasa Corporation, a subsidiary of Hindustan Construction Company, was allotted the land at a monthly rent of Rs 23,000, Singh said.
Sharad Pawar`s daughter Supriya Sule, now NCP MP from Baramati, and her husband Sadanand Sule, according to documents released by Singh, held 20.81 per cent shares in the company.
In 2006 the Sules sold their entire share to the Lavasa Corporation, he claimed.
According to Singh, Axis Bank, which invested Rs 250 crore in the Lavasa Corporation Limited in 2008 in the form of convertible preference shares and convertible debentures, valued the company at Rs 10,000 crore.
"The Sules, if the value of the company is taken into account on the basis of Axis Bank`s assessment, must have got around Rs 240 crore from sale of their shares. It is not reflected in the affidavit Supriya Sule filed detailing her assets before contesting 2009 Lok Sabha elections," he said.
Distributing the affidavit which showed Supriya Sule`s total assets at little over 50.45 lakh, Singh alleged, " there is a big money laundering scam"
YP Singh also slammed India Against Corruption (IAC) activist Arvind Kejriwal for his selective exposures against politicians and alleged that erstwhile Team Anna member is using the anti-corruption front for his own political motives.
Claiming to expose Kejriwal, Singh said, “The IAC had all information pertaining to a major scam in Maharashtra but Kejriwal did not reveal all the facts. He has been selective in his revelations. I want to ask him why he concealed all the facts?
Singh alleged that Kejriwal chose not to name Sharad Pawar, his daughter Supriya Sule and his nephew Ajit Pawar and held back crucial information leading to bigger scam.
Singh said Kejriwal had full information to expose Sharad Pawar, the real beneficiary in the scam, but had deliberately concealed facts.
"Details of the larger irrigation scam were not brought out, " Singh claimed.
The former top cop said that Kejriwal`s point that farmers` land that was acquired should be returned to them, was against Supreme Court guidelines. The top court says there should be a public auction of such land, he added.
Singh accused Kejriwal of taking his favour in the name of fighting corruption and Anna Hazare, but used the documents for ‘personal political advancements.
"I even personally drafted many legal documents `free-of-charge` for IAC with advocate Prashant Bhushan, but I was completely unaware that this people`s movement and NGO will one day transform into a `political` outfit and for the same reason I feel he fooled people and me, for which I am holding a press conference today to expose him."
"In the name of IAC/NGO Kejriwal got legal documentation done by me for central ministers. But he used them for his political gains," he added.
Singh`s claims came a day after Kejriwal targeted BJP President Nitin Gadkari, accusing him of receiving personal favours by getting around 100 acres of agriculture land in Maharashtra after the Congress-NCP government there bent rules.
YP Singh served as an officer of the Indian Police Service of the 1985 batch, Maharashtra Cadre.
During his stint in the IPS he worked in various positions in the district police, the Food and Drugs Administration, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the reserve police.
During his stint in the CBI, he dealt with several high-profile cases like the Unit Trust of India US-64 scam and the MS Shoes scam.
With Agency inputs