MUMBAI: A single-person judicial panel set up to probe allegations against former Maharashtra revenue minister Eknath Khadse on Wednesday said he misued his position in transfering a prime piece of land in Pune in favour of his wife Mandakini and son-in-law Girish Chaudhari in 2016.
Khadse rejected the allegations and pointed out that former Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis himself had on record said the report by the commission has no relevance as the Bombay High Court had already directed the Anti-Corruption Bureau to file an FIR in the Pune land case and initiate a probe.
“Therefore, as per matter of fact and in legal terms, the content of Zoting commission report is null and void now. The case has gone further. Khadse has taken the meeting but he was not the minister of that particular department so his meeting has no legal authority.
Besides, the order of the meeting was not finalised and it was later cancelled by the respective minister and chief minister Devendra Fadnavis himself. It shows that there was no conflict of interest in this entire case,” said an NCP leader who is close to Khadse.
He added that the transactions in the Pune land deal were carried out as per prescribed norms. “The stamp duty was paid as per the government value of the land. So, there’s no question of undervaluation and paying less stamp duty. Even the Enforcement Directorate case is also based on wrong information. To buy the land, a loan was taken and the EMI has been paid. This is nothing but to harass our leader by using central agencies,” he added.
Earlier Khadse’s son-in-law Girish Chaudhari has been arrested in connection with the case. Khadse was also recently grilled by ED for nine hours.