December 4, 2023

Published from Mumbai, Delhi & Bhopal

Shiv Sena (UBT) deputy leader nabbed in Rs 7.50cr bank loan case

Nashik (Maharashtra) : Shiv Sena (UBT) deputy leader Advay Hire, who was arrested from Bhopal on Wednesday in connection with an alleged bank loan fraud case of Rs 7.50-crore, was remanded to five days’ police custody by a Malegaon Court, here on Thursday.

Hire, an ex-Bharatiya Janata Party leader, has been accused of getting the loan from the Nashik District Central Cooperative Bank (NDCCB) allegedly on the basis of forged documents, and then failing to repay the amount.

The Economic Offences Wing of Nashik Rural Police was probing the matter and was on the trail of Hire who had gone into hiding but was tracked down by the Bhopal Police and handed over to the Ramzanpura Police Station of Malegaon on Thursday.

He was presented before the Additional District Sessions Judge U.S. Baghele who ordered his police custody till November 20.

Arguing for Hire’s custody for seven days, the Additional Government Pleader Mahendra Phulpagare said that no instalments of the bank loan were paid through an amount of Rs 1.78 crore received from the sale of a mortgage mill and land.

From the total loan amount, an amount of Rs 6 crore was transferred to a private Venkatesh Bank, and the police needed to probe why this was done, what was done with the money and who benefited from it.

However, Hire’s lawyer contended that the investigations into the case were over, all the documents had already been taken and hence there was no need for police custody.

In 2013, as the then Chairman of the NDCCB Hire had availed loans of nearly Rs 7.50 in the name of Renukadevi Yantramaag Women’s Industrial Cooperative Society, a weaving mill, against mortgage, which was headed by his wife, Smita Hire.

Over the years, the amount had swollen to Rs 32 crore after which the bank lodged a complaint with the police in April 2023 to recover the debts, and since the amount had gone beyond Rs 25-crore, the case was transferred to the EOW, Nashik.

Anticipating arrest, Hire had applied for anticipatory bail which was rejected by the lower and Bombay High Court, after which he was reported to be on the run till he was nabbed by the Madhya Pradesh Police in Bhopal. Shiv Sena (UBT) top leaders Sanjay Raut and Sushma Andhare have slammed Hire’s arrest, terming it as ‘political vendetta’ unleashed by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde’s government as he (Hire) was a political rival of PWD Minister Dadaji Bhuse.

“If Hire had joined the BJP (after the June 2022 Shiv Sena split), all his alleged sins would have been forgiven, but because he has joined Shiv Sena (UBT), he is being hounded,” said Andhare sharply.

Raut said that Hire is the grandson of the legendary Bhausaheb Hire and the police have targeted him due to political pressures though he faced the (fraud) allegations even when he was with the BJP.

Hitting back, Raut said Bhuse himself is accused of defrauding farmers of Rs 178-crore through his cooperative factory, other leaders of the ruling alliance are also facing major allegations, “but only Hire who belongs to the MVA is being singled out for action”.

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