Former Mumbai mayor appears before EOW

Former Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar made her scheduled appearance before the city police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW in connection with an alleged scam related to the purchase of body bags for Covid-19 victims. A police official confirmed her appearance in a statement to the media.
The Bombay High Court granted Kishori Pednekar interim protection from arrest for a period of four weeks. The court emphasized that the investigation was ongoing and that, at this stage, custodial interrogation was not necessary. Furthermore, the court had previously instructed the police not to take any coercive actions against her. In addition to the protection from arrest, the court had issued specific directives for Pednekar to cooperate fully with the investigation and appear before the Mumbai Police’s EOW on three designated dates: September 11, 13, and 16, for questioning.
Kishori Pednekar arrived at the EOW office in Mumbai at approximately 11 am, where she was subjected to questioning by officials. The former Mumbai mayor had approached the High Court after a sessions court denied her anticipatory bail plea, citing allegations of her involvement in an economic offense that encompassed a “substantial amount of public funds.” The Economic Offences Wing had registered a case against Kishori Pednekar and two other senior officials from the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) under sections 420 (Cheating) and 120 (B) (Criminal Conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code, along with other relevant sections. This action was initiated based on a complaint filed by Bharatiya Janata Party leader Kirit Somaiya.
Somaiya’s complaint alleged misappropriation of funds and irregularities in the management of health facilities, as well as the procurement of body bags for deceased Covid-19 patients, masks, and other items by the BMC during the pandemic. At the time, Kishori Pednekar held the position of Mumbai’s mayor, serving from November 2019 until March 2022, when the term of BMC’s general body concluded. Subsequent elections have not yet been held.

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