ACB begins probe against Maharashtra NCP Minister



Mumbai: Amidst the raging Ajit Pawar resignation issue, Maharashtra ACB has launched a preliminary inquiry against NCP leader and Water Resources Minister Sunil Tatkare and his family members facing allegations of amassing disproportionate assets running into crores of rupees.

"A preliminary inquiry has been initiated into the complaint involving Tatkare," Director General (Anti-Corruption Bureau) Raj Khilnani said on Thursday.

In a complaint filed before ACB a few months ago, BJP leader Kirit Somaiyya alleged that various Government agencies had aided Tatkare and his kin in land grabbing and money laundering.

Later, Somaiyya also filed a PIL against the NCP Minister in the Bombay High Court which recently asked the State Government to spell out its stand on the matter.

The PIL has prayed for constitution of a Special Investigation Team (SIT) under the supervision of the High Court to probe the matter in a specified time-frame.

The 300-page PIL named 31 respondents and alleged that all of them have colluded or conspired with each other and indulged in money laundering, parking of scam money, benami (proxy) holdings and forming a web of companies.

The petition further alleged that Tatkare had abused his official position to float companies in the names of his relatives and employees, and amassed illegal wealth. Even Tatkare's gardener had nine firms in his name, it alleged.

The probe against Tatkare comes at a time when NCP leader Ajit Pawar has resigned as Deputy Chief Minister over allegations of his involvement in a multi-crore scam which took place when he headed the irrigation ministry between 1999 and 2009.

PTI