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ED summons MVA leaders Kishori Pednekar, Rohit Pawar for questioning next week

Mumbai : Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday issued summons to two opposition leaders of Maha Vikas Aghadi (MVA) next week in connection with the ongoing probes against them.

They are Shiv Sena (UBT)’s ex-Mayor of Mumbai Kishori Pednekar, and Nationalist Congress Party (SP) MLA Rohit Pawar, the grand-nephew of party supremo Sharad Pawar.

Rohit Pawar has been called for questioning on January 24 (Wednesday) while Pednekar has been asked to come on January 25 (Thursday) to the ED office.

Pednekar (61) is facing charges in connection with the alleged Covid body bags scam case that took place during the pandemic years when she was the Mayor of Mumbai.

The ED — which launched investigation in money-laundering case in September 2023 — had summoned and grilled her for over six hours in November.

The ED has contended that there was massive inflation in the rates of body-bags to carry dead Covid-19 victims, while the company supplied it for around Rs 2,000 apiece to its distributors, it was giving the same bags to the BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for around Rs 6,800 per piece.

The Mumbai Police’s EOW and the ED have filed cases against Pednekar in the matter involving other civic officials of the BMC’s Central Purchase Department for the alleged irregularities in the matter.

Rohit Pawar, 38, will be quizzed on the alleged money-laundering case arising out of the ongoing investigations into the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam.

The ED summons to Rohit Pawar came almost a fortnight after the agency raided his company Baramati Agro, in Pune and other linked entities in Aurangabad plus other locations.

The MSCB money-laundering case arose from a Mumbai Police EOW FIR filed in August 2019, and the NCP (SP) has slammed the moves as political vendetta of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Among other things, Rohit Pawar has been accused of ‘diverting’ funds in the purchase of a sick sugar cooperative factory with allegations of money-laundering in the process.

Hindi Website