Anna Hazare moved the Bombay High Court on Tuesday asking for a CBI probe into what he called a “Rs 25,000 crore sugar cooperative factories scam”. The activist filed two civil PILs and one criminal PIL, claiming that “the scam” has pulled Maharashtra back by 50 years and has put the state under financial debts to the tune of hundreds of crores of rupees. The criminal petition is listed for hearing on 6 January before a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka.
The PILs allege that fraud had been committed in governance by first burdening sugar cooperative factories with debts and thereafter selling these sick units at a throwaway price, causing a loss of Rs 25,000 crore to the government, cooperative sector and members of public.
Hazare demanded a CBI inquiry into allegations of corruption and misuse of public and cooperative funds. The petitions also sought the appointment of a court receiver to take possession of all properties held by people against whom a prima facie case exists over the alleged scam.
Hazare’s PILs also called for an inquiry by a Special Investigating Team (SIT) over the alleged role of “politicians into the sugar cooperative scam, including NCP President and former Union Agriculture [Minister] Sharad Pawar and his nephew and former (Maharashtra) Irrigation Minister Ajit Pawar”. The petitions name both members of the Pawar family as respondents.
The petitioner stated that the statistics and facts mentioned in the PILs have been collected from authorities through the Right to Information Act.