Mumbai Covid-19 Body Bags Purchase Scam: Ex-Mumbai Mayor Kishori Pednekar Appears Before EOW

Mumbai: Former Mumbai mayor Kishori Pednekar appeared before the Mumbai police’s Economic Offences Wing on Monday in connection with an alleged scam in the purchase of body bags for COVID-19 victims, a police official said. On September 6, the Bombay High Court granted interim protection from arrest for four weeks to Pednekar, noting the case probe was on and at this stage custodial interrogation was not warranted. The court also directed Pednekar to cooperate with the probe in the case and appear before the city police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) on September 11, 13 and 16 for questioning.

On Monday, Pednekar reached the EOW office here at around 11 am to face an inquiry into the case, the official said.Pednekar approached the HC after a sessions court rejected her pre-arrest bail plea, saying she was accused of an economic offence involving a huge amount of public money.

The EOW had registered a case against Pednekar and two senior officials of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) under various Indian Penal Code sections including 420 (cheating) and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy), based on a complaint filed by BJP leader Kirit Somaiya.

It was alleged that there was a misappropriation of funds and irregularities in the management of health facilities and purchase of body bags for deceased coronavirus patients, masks and other items by the BMC during the pandemic.

Pednekar was Mumbai mayor from November 2019 till March 2022 when the term of the BMC’s general body ended. Fresh civic elections are yet to be held.In her pre-arrest bail plea, Pednekar claimed she was falsely implicated in the case and the complaint against her was politically motivated. She claimed the case was lodged only after the split in the Shiv Sena party and that she is being targeted as she belongs to the Uddhav Thackeray faction.

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