Maharashtra Sadan scam: Chhagan Bhujbal sent to two days ED custody

A Mumbai court on Tuesday sent former Maharashtra deputy chief minister Chhagan Bhujbal to two days custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

The ED had interrogated Bhujbal in various corruption cases against him for nearly 11 hours on Monday before arresting him late night. 

Bhujbal waves at supporters before entering the Enforcement Directorate office yesterday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
Bhujbal waves at supporters before entering the Enforcement Directorate office on Monday. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

He was produced by before a court on Tuesday evening which granted the agency two days custody to interrogate him further.

According to an ED official, the arrest of the ex-PWD minister was effected under the provisions of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) after he allegedly refused to cooperate during questioning. The agency has also recorded his statement in the case.

The agency has filed two FIRs against Bhujbal, his son and nephew and others under the provisions of PMLA, based on Mumbai Police FIRs, to probe the Delhi-based Maharashtra Sadan construction scam and the Kalina land grabbing case. 

The ED had registered a PMLA case involving the Bhujbals and some of their associates and has already arrested the ex-minister's nephew Samir last month in the case. 

Samir is currently lodged in the high security Arthur Road jail n Mumbai.

The ED had also questioned Bhujbal's son Pankaj in the same case last month. It had also brought out orders for attachment of three properties with an estimated worth of over Rs 280 crore in the case under money laundering laws. 

ED had twice conducted searches at nine premises, including properties and offices, belonging to the senior Bhujbal, Pankaj, Samir and few others.

The state Anti-Corruption Bureau has already filed a charge sheet against Chhagan Bhujbal, Pankaj, Sameer and 14 others in the Maharashtra Sadan scam case. The new Maharashtra Sadan was built at the cost of Rs 100 crore when Congress-NCP coalition was in power in Maharashtra.

Soon after Bhujbal was placed under arrest last night, NCP described the party leader's arrest as "vendetta politics" by BJP, and said there was no need to arrest him as he was cooperating with the ED.

BJP MP Kirit Somaiya said, "Now it is the turn of irrigation scam's Ajit Pawar and Sunil Tatkare to follow Bhujbal."

NCP activists today staged road blockades in Nashik district and Worli area here to protest against Bhujbal's arrest. Also, a meeting of NCP legislators was held here to discuss his arrest.

Former NCP minister Jaydutt Kshirsagar said Bhujbal has been cooperating with the ED probe and has also submitted all necessary documents.

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