Police on Friday filed a chargesheet against the leader of opposition in the legislative council, Pravin Darekar, who was accused of using bogus membership of a labour society to get elected as a director of Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank from the quota reserved for such societies though he was not a labourer.
The 904-page chargesheet also names two aides of the Bharatiya Janata Party leader – Pravin Margaj, a Jogeshwari East resident, and Shreekant Kadam from Andheri East. “We have filed a chargesheet against three people,” Rajesh Pawar, senior police inspector, MRA Marg police station, said.
Police officials said they had charged the three under sections 199 (false statement made in declaration which is by law receivable as evidence), 200 (using as true such declaration knowing it to be false), 406 (criminal intimidation), 417 (cheating), 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 465 (forgery), 468 (forgery for the purpose of cheating), 471 (using as genuine a forged [document or electronic record]), and 120 B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.
The police have recorded statements of 29 witnesses, including three police officers, a deputy collector, several government employees, and some employees of Mumbai District Central Cooperative Bank, in support of their case against the BJP leader.
The case was registered based on a complaint filed by Aam Aadmi Party leader Dhananjay Shinde who alleged that Darekar had registered himself as a labourer with Pratidnya Labour Cooperative Society in 1997 and used the registration to contest elections to the bank and held the post of its chairman for 10 years between 2012 and 2021.
Even after being elected as a Member of Legislative Council (MLC), Darekar continued to hold membership of the labour society, posing as a labourer, the complaint had said.
In his affidavit filed with the nomination for the MLC elections in 2016, Darekar had stated that he and his family members owned property worth ₹2.13 crore, of which property valued at ₹91 lakh belonged to him, and that as an MLA, he got ₹2.5 lakh per month, and thus, he was never a labourer, the police had claimed.
The Bombay high court had on April 12 granted him pre-arrest bail in the case.