State stays ₹137 crore fine notice against Khadse, family members for illegal soil excavation | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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State stays 137 crore fine notice against Khadse, family members for illegal soil excavation

Mar 07, 2024 07:48 AM IST

On October 6, 2023, the tehsildar of Muktainagar taluka in Jalgaon district issued a saying that Khadse, his wife Mandakini, daughter Rohini and daughter-in-law BJP MP Raksha had illegally excavated 1.18 lakh brass of murum (fragmented weathered rock) and black stone without taking necessary permission from the concerned authorities

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government on March 1 issued an order staying a notice issued against NCP (Sharadchandra Pawar) leader Eknath Khadse and his family members, directing them to pay over 137 crore as a fine for allegedly excavating minor minerals without permission. According to Khadse, the decision came following an appeal he filed against the notice as natural justice, which the state government has agreed to look into.

Eknath Khadse (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)
Eknath Khadse (Anshuman Poyrekar/HT Photo)

On October 6, 2023, the tehsildar of Muktainagar taluka in Jalgaon district issued a saying that Khadse, his wife Mandakini, daughter Rohini and daughter-in-law BJP MP Raksha had illegally excavated 1.18 lakh brass of murum (fragmented weathered rock) and black stone without taking necessary permission from the concerned authorities. “The fine amount of 137,14,81,883 should be paid within 15 days from the date of the issuance of the notice,” read the notice.

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The notice was issued based on a probe report of a special investigation team (SIT) headed by Nashik divisional commissioner Dr Radhakrishna Game formed to probe allegations of illegal excavation against Khadse and others. The SIT was formed on February 28 last year following allegations made by an independent MLA and his rival Chandrakant Patil during the winter session of the state legislature in 2022. HT reported about the formation of the SIT against Khadse on March 2 last year.

“It was a one-sided report based on which notice was issued. We filed an appeal to the district administration requesting natural justice, as our side was not considered before initiating the penal action. On March 1 the notice was stayed, and soon our side will be heard,” Khadse told Hindustan Times.

According to the allegations, Khadse excavated minor minerals from the plot, sold them to a contractor and earned crores, which led to a loss of revenue for the state exchequer, as one is expected to pay royalty, besides taking prior permission for excavation. Khadse dismissed all the allegations and claimed that the minerals were given for free to the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI), which removed the hillock on the said land for constructing the national highway (NH) 6.

Khadse was a prominent leader of the BJP from North Maharashtra and enjoys a significant hold in the region. He comes from the OBC Leva Patil community, which has a sizable population in North Maharashtra. In October 2020, he joined the NCP, levelling allegations against deputy chief minister Devendra Fadnavis that the latter was out to finish his political career. In June 2022, Khadse was elected as a legislative council member from the NCP quota and is facing a money laundering probe by the Enforcement Directorate (ED).

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Faisal is with the political team and covers state administration and state politics. He also covers NCP.

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