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HC imposes Rs. 40,000 fine on Saoner MLA Sunil Kedar

A High Court bench has imposed a fine of Rs 40,000 on Saoner MLA Sunil Kedar for raising objection to an ongoing probe against him by an appointed inquiry officer.

Kedar had objected to the ongoing inquiry conducted by inquiry officer advocate Surendra Kharbade against him and had also refused to conduct probe against ex-officio Directors of Nagpur District Central Co-operative Bank (NDCCB) thus inviting the court fine following which his plea was dismissed.

Justice Z A Haq, while rejecting the petition, imposed a cost of Rs 40,000 on Kedar and directed him to pay Rs 10,000 each to four respondents including State Co-operative Department, Inquiry Officer Surendra Kharbade, Divisional Joint Registrar and NDCC Bank.

The High Court, after hearing the matter, dismissed the petition with cost of Rs 40,000 and directed petitioner to pay Rs 10,000 each to four respondents.

However, the second petition filed by Kedar in which he questioned the hasty method adopted by Kharbade and denial of natural justice to him in the inquiry and refusal to conduct inquiry de novo (afresh) as directed by Co-operation Minister, has been posted for hearing by the High Court at a later date, with a poser to Kedar whether he wanted to withdraw the petition.

Kedar had challenged the method adopted by Inquiry Officer contending that by refusing to join NABARD officer, who was ex-officio director during enquiry, there is violation of Section 88 of the Maharashtra State Co-operative (MSC) Act under which entire management is responsible for any shortcoming or alleged wrongdoing.

However, the inquiry officer claimed that under rule 72 of the MCS rules, such nominated and ex-officio Directors are exempted from any legal consequences and hence there is no need to join them in enquiry.

Kedar, who was the Chairman when the Rs 150-crore fraud came to light in 2002, is accused of causing loss to the NDCCB and has been directed to pay Rs 129.31 crore with interest to bank.

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