Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress to move Supreme Court against closing of 9 irrigation scam cases

The Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and Congress have decided to approach the Supreme Court over the Maharashtra Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) closing nine cases in the alleged Rs 70,000 crore irrigation scam.

NCP leader and Maharashtra deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar is an accused in the case but the ACB clarified that none of the cases that have been closed were linked to Pawar.

The petition by the three opposition parties says that the Devendra Fadnavis government cannot take any major policy decisions.

The plea sought a stay on the ACB’s move to close the corruption cases and urged the top court to stop the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government to take any major policy decision till completion of the floor test.

The ACB’s decision to close the corruption cases drew the ire of the opposition parties in Maharashtra. Congress said Ajit Pawar was “exonerated” after he broke ranks from NCP and backed the BJP.

The Congress said the only decision the Fadnavis government has taken in “public interest” was to close “all cases of corruption and malfeasance”.

The BJP said it was a court-monitored probe and there was no question of quid pro quo.

“The BJP has been extremely sincere about irrigation probe. Several chargesheets have been filed in this scam. At the end of the day, the case is being monitored by the court,’’ said Keshav Upadhye, BJP spokesperson.

In December 2014, Fadnavis had instituted the inquiry against Ajit Pawar.

The final hearing on a bunch of petitions against Pawar’s role as one of the main accused in the irrigation scam will be examined later this week.

The scam, pegged at around Rs 70,000 crore, relates to alleged corruption in approval of irrigation projects during the Congress-NCP rule.

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