The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its chargesheet stated that the businessman Sujit Patkar played a 'key role' in the allotment of a civic contract to his partnership firm for running jumbo COVID-19 centres in Mumbai
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) in its chargesheet stated that the businessman Sujit Patkar played a 'key role' in the allotment of a civic contract to his partnership firm for running jumbo COVID-19 centres in Mumbai.
As per the ED, Patkar, reportedly a close aide of Shiv Sena (UBT) Rajya Sabha MP Sanjay Raut, managed to gather prior information about the tender process for these centres due to his "proximity with politically exposed person".
Besides Patkar, the other accused named in the ED chargesheet include the firm Lifeline Hospital Management Services, its three partners and Dahisar jumbo Covid Centre dean Dr Kishore Bisure.
Sujit Patkar and Dr Bisure were arrested under Prevention of Money Laundering Act provisions by the ED. Both Patkar and Dr Bisure are in judicial custody.
According to ED chargesheet, Patkar invested only Rs 12,500 at the time of incorporation of the firm.
"Patkar indulged himself in criminal activities and hatched a conspiracy in connivance with other accused partners and officials of Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and managed to obtain a tender/contract," the chargesheet said.
"He managed to gather prior information about the tender process due to his proximity with "politically exposed person" and then he as well as his partners set up the firm to obtain the tender issued by civic authorities," the chargesheet stated.
"Patkar used to liaison with BMC officials and played a key role in the process of allotment of contract of manpower supply to Jumbo Covid facility at Dahisar and Worli to Lifeline Management Services," it stated.
The chargesheet by the ED also stated that the partners devised a scheme to deliberately understaff medical personnel at the Dahisar and Worli Jumbo COVID facilities for their own financial benefit. "As per the plan, there was huge under-deployment of medical staff, which had put the lives of the COVID-19 patients at risk," the chargesheet said.
It claimed the accused had submitted fake and fabricated attendance sheets and related records for Dahisar Jumbo Covid facility, whereas, with regard to the Worli centre, invoices were submitted to the civic body without any attendance data and staff records.
Patkar, in connivance with other partners, intentionally did not reveal the cancellation of contract by Pune Municipal Region Development Authority, which had specified the firm's lacunas. The Pune Municipal Region Development Authority had also issued an advisory not to give any further works to Lifeline Hospital Management Services in view of larger public interest, the ED chargesheet pointed out.
"Obtaining payments to the tune of Rs 32.44 crore from BMC as part of this contract created proceeds of crime. Of this PoC, an amount of Rs 2.81 crore was diverted in the personal bank account of Patkar between November 2020 and October 2022," the chargesheet stated.
(with inputs from PTI)