Money laundering case: Court issues non-bailable warrant against Eknath Khadse’s wife


PTI, Oct 12, 2021, 7:29 PM IST

Mumbai: A special court here on Tuesday rejected as not maintainable the pre-arrest bail plea of Mandakini Khadse, wife of NCP leader Eknath Khadse, and issued a non-bailable warrant against her in a money laundering case pertaining to the 2016 Pune land deal.

Special judge H S Satbhai, hearing matters related to the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) cases, noted that he was issuing a non-bailable warrant against Mandakini Khadse considering her “conduct and disobedience” in not appearing before the court when summons was issued to her last month.

The court also directed Eknath Khadse to appear before it on October 21.

The court had summoned Khadse, his wife and other accused in the case after taking cognisance of the chargesheet filed in the case by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

Khadse had then sought exemption from appearance on grounds that he was ailing, while his wife filed an anticipatory bail plea.

On Tuesday, the court dismissed the anticipatory bail plea as not maintainable.

The court noted that despite being served summons, Mandakini Khadse chose not to appear on the last date of hearing (October 6), following which she was granted an exemption and asked to appear before the court on Tuesday.

“The conduct of the accused No 3 (Mandakini Khadse) is noted. Today again she is absent. The medical certificate relied on by her shows general ailments of fever, body ache and weakness. This medical ground is not satisfactory to exempt her from appearance in court,” it said.

“Considering her conduct and disobedience of the summons, it is not just to grant time for her appearance. She is wilfully avoiding to appear before the court. Her absence is intentional,” the court said.

The court ordered for a non-bailable warrant to be issued against her and posted the matter for further hearing on October 21.

“Considering the fact that accused No 1 (Eknath Khadse) underwent laser haemorrhoidectomy on October 7, his exemption from appearance in court is granted for today only. Considering the medical advice, the accused shall appear in court on October 21,” the court said.

Apart from the Khadse couple, their son-in-law Girish Chaudhary is also named as an accused in the case. He was arrested in the case and is presently in judicial custody.

The ED has alleged that Chaudhary and the Khadses had purchased a government land in Bhosari near Pune for Rs 3.75 crore when its actual cost was Rs 31.01 crore.

The prosecution’s case is that Khadse misused his official position as the state’s Minister of Revenue to facilitate the transaction.

Khadse had resigned in June 2016 following the controversy over the purchase of land. He quit the BJP in October 2020 and joined the NCP.

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