MIDC counsel Chandrashekhar Jaltare said that prima facie, Mr Khadse’s role in the scam was amply evident.
Nagpur: Former BJP heavyweight and state revenue minister Eknath Khadse on Wednesday asserted that he did not do anything wrong or violate any rule. His counsel, M.G. Bhangde, contended before the one-man probe panel, Zoting Commission (of retired judge Dinkar Zoting), that his client did not violate any rule in the Pune MIDC land case.
Advocate Bhangde said that the former minister was not the minister in charge at that time and hence, the question of misuse of power did not arise. Besides, the commission’s tenure expired on March 31 and hence, it had no power to adjudicate or hear the matter further. Wednesday’s was the last hearing and the commission has reserved its judgment after hearing Advocate Bhangde.
Meanwhile, MIDC counsel Chandrashekhar Jaltare said that prima facie, Mr Khadse’s role in the scam was amply evident. Advocate Jaltare said that Mr Khadse had made a statement that since Ukani did not receive any compensation, he had every right to sell the property.
After completing his arguments, Mr Khadse changed his stand and claimed he did not know anything in the matter. “This change of stand shows that the former minister is hiding the truth,” Advocate Jaltare pointed out.
While making allegations against Mr Khadse, MIDC counsel said that the former revenue minister could have called his wife Mandakini, son-in-law Girish Chaudhari or secretary Kashid as witnesses but did not do so. “This shows something is fishy in the matter,” he said.
The one-man commission was appointed on June 23, 2016, by chief minister Devendra Fadnavis, following allegations by the opposition that a MIDC plot located at Bhosri near Pune had been transferred in the name of Mr Khadse’s wife in a case of conflict of interest by Mr Khadse who then headed the revenue portfolio. Mr Khadse had to resign over the controversial land deal.