The Bombay High Court in Mumbai on Thursday sought BJP leader Devendra Fadnavis's response to a petition questioning the transfer of salary accounts of the police department to Axis Bank, a private lender. Fadnavis, a former chief minister, had been targeted over this issue earlier by his detractors as his wife Amruta Fadnavis holds a senior position with Axis Bank.
A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Amit Borkar also issued notices to the Additional Chief Secretary of the home department of the Maharashtra government and the Director General of Police, seeking affidavits-in-reply within eight weeks.
The petition filed by Mohnish Jabalpure alleged that Fadnavis misused his powers as chief minister to help Axis Bank at the expense of public sector lenders. It cited a circular issued by the then BJP-led government on May 11, 2017, which effected transfer of salary accounts of police personnel as well as beneficiaries of the
Sanjay Gandhi Niradhar Yojana to Axis Bank. It caused a loss to nationalised banks which were handling these accounts earlier, the plea alleged, seeking revocation of the decision and a probe.
A senior official had stated last year that salary accounts of the police force were with UTI Bank -- later renamed as Axis Bank -- since 2005, much before Fadnavis became chief minister in 2014.