The Bombay High Court passed an interim order Monday staying an inquiry against former deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar and other accused persons in the Maharashtra State Cooperative Bank (MSCB) scam. Pawar and 76 others were accused of causing financial losses to the tune of over Rs 1,000 crore to the MSCB between 2007 and 2011. A bench led by Justice R M Savant was hearing a petition filed by Manikrao Patil, one of the accused in the case.
In his plea filed through his counsel Anil Sakhre and Joel Carlos, Patil had challenged an extended inquiry into the incident, and also a recent amendment brought about by the Maharashtra government that extended the time limit for concluding an inquiry against cooperative societies.
As per the previous rules, an inquiry against a cooperative society was to be completed within a maximum of two-and-a-half years from the date of order of a probe. In the above case, the probe was first ordered in May 2014 but it could not be completed within the stipulated deadline. While the court will decide upon the amendment following a detailed hearing, it granted the interim relief on Patil’s petition.