The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached properties worth Rs 281.42 crore of several NCR-based real estate companies, including that of former Indian Premier League (IPL) chairman Lalit Modi, in connection with a money laundering case wherein land was “illegally” acquired in Haryana with the alleged connivance of senior government functionaries and bureaucrats.
Several farmers and landowners have allegedly been cheated to the tune of about Rs 1,500 crore in the case, in which former Haryana Chief Minister and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda is one of the accused.
An ED official here said that the agency has attached properties worth Rs 281.42 crore of various accused entities and their associates in connection with the Gurugram land scam under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The official said that 95.09 bighas of agricultural land at Behror and Neemrana in Rajasthan valued at Rs 13.31 crore pertaining to Lalit Modi have been attached in connection with the case.
The official said that the financial probe agency has attached 54 per cent of a project in the name of Dove Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd. pertaining to Atul Bansal or his group companies at Faridabad amounting to Rs 108.86 crore.
He said that 50 per cent of the ‘Business Bay Project’ in the name of Seriatim Land and Housing Pvt. Ltd. pertaining to Bansal or his group companies amounting to Rs 78.09 crore has also been attached.
The official said that flats and FDR pertaining to Anglique International Ltd amounting to Rs 3.39 crore, Rs 25.53 crore refund from HSIIDC sanctioned to Guru Nanak Infrastructures Developers Pvt. Ltd., 13.77 acres and 5.65 acres of land valued at Rs 29.48 crore pertaining to Frontier Home Developers Pvt Ltd, 20 flats valued at Rs 22.72 crore pertaining to Frontier Home Developers Pvt. Ltd. have also been attached.
The ED had registered a case of money laundering on the basis of a CBI FIR. It has been alleged that initially the Haryana government issued a notification under the Land Acquisition Act for acquiring land measuring about 912 acres for setting up an industrial model township.
After this, all the plots had allegedly been grabbed from the land owners by private builders at meagre rates.
It was also alleged that an order was then passed by the the competent authority, which is the Director of Industries, on August 24, 2007 releasing this land from the acquisition process in violation of the government policy in favour of the builders, their companies and agents, instead of the original land owners.
The probe agencies found that in this manner, land measuring about 400 acres, the market value of which at that time was above Rs 4 crore per acre, was allegedly purchased by the private builders and others from the land owners for only about Rs 100 crore.
The official said that during investigation, it was revealed that most of the land was purchased by the ABWIL Group controlled by Bansal and after obtaining licences, ABWIL had sold the land and the licences to other private persons or developers, thus making profit worth crores of rupees.
He said the ED probe revealed that the above properties worth Rs 281.42 crore are proceeds of crime under PMLA. The agency had earlier attached properties worth Rs 108.76 crore in connection with the case.
The ED had earlier filed a chargesheet along with two supplementary chargesheets in this case against 30 persons before a special PMLA court in Panchkula and cognisance of the same was also taken by court.
The ED had named private builders and entities like Bansal of ABW Infrastructure Limited, ABW Infra Limited (ABWIL), Bansals’s wife Sona Bansal, Mahamaya Exports Private Limited, Shashikant Chaurasia, Dilip Lalwani, Varinder Uppal, Vijay Uppal, Viney Uppal, Ravinder Taneja, TDI Infrastructure Limited, Wisdom Realtors Private Limited and AB Rephcons Infrastructure Private Limited.