Patra Chawl scam has taken the Maharastra Government by a storm since last few months with several big personalities and politicians having faced charges and arrest. The Enforcement Directorate has been conducting an investigation in this scam, and is looking at the money laundering angle of the scam. The ED claims that its investigation is still on going, and several prominent people such as Rakesh Wadhawan, Sarang Wadhawan, Pravin Raut and Sunil Raut are behind bars. However, if one were to closely scrutinise the ED’s investigations, it is amply clear that the Government or the ED is clearly not interested in carrying out the investigation in a fair and unbiased manner, and is just targeting political targets rather than go after each and every person involved in the Patra Chawl case.
MHADA had selected Guru Ashish Constructions for carrying out the Redevelopment of Patra Chawl. Guru Ashish constructions, failed in performing their part of the contract and did not provide houses for the poor tenants who were members of Patra Chawl and were eligible for a flat on redeveloped land. Instead, Guru Ashish Constructions blatantly sold a part of the plot to other builders like Ashok Mohanani and Parag Munot and earned crores of rupees. On the said plot, Mohanani and Munot and other builders built flats for sale and earned thousands of crores through sale of such flats. However the buyers of these flats were victims, whose hard earned monies have gone down the drain as the buildings in which these buyers have purchased the flats is being refused Occupational Certificate by MHADA. This was expected as Guru Ashish has not performed its initial contract with MHADA and has instead sold sub plots of lands to these builders who have learnt millions out of the deal while leaving the buyers as well as original tenants of Patra Chawl as victims. In such a case, it is usually the job of Investigation agencies to investigate all possible angles and unearth the wrongdoing by everyone involved and bring justice to the victims. However the Government, instead of pursuing justice, and doing a fair investigation, has turned Enforcement Directorate into a Political tool to destroy the opponents.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) has arrested persons involved with HDIL and Guru Ashish Construction and they are presently behind the bars. However, the ED’s role here is to check and investigate Money Laundering aspect and go after the money. There are a total of seven builders who have purchased the sub plots of land at Patra Chawl from Guru Ashish, and who have made crores of Rupees from the transaction. However, not a single builder out of them has been touched or made an accused by the ED. These builders, who purchased the land from Guru Ashish, would have known from one cursory glance at documents that Guru Ashish had no right to sale that land to other builders without express permission of MHADA Officials. It was very clear contract between MHADA and Guru Ashish that till Guru Ashish completes the Redevelopment of Patra Chawl and hands over the said flats to MHADA as well as its share of land to MHADA, Guru Ashish had no right to sell further land to other builders. The builders who purchased the said land from Guru Ashish, Ekta Everglade Developer’s Ashok Mohanani and Kiyana Ventures’s Parag Munot are very experienced builders, who have dealt and purchased many land plots before. Proper due diligence is part and parcel of the process of buying any land plot, and surely these builders would have examined the chain of custody of the land parcels being sold and realised that Guru Ashish did not have rights to sale the land, and it was violating its contract with MHADA while offering the land parcels for sale. Therefore, it is clear that these builders knowingly entered into purchase of these land parcels, knowing fully well that this wasn’t legal and therefore they would not get Occupation Certificates for the buildings they would build on this land. These builders went ahead and purchased the land despite this knowledge, knowing fully well that gullible buyers would buy the flats and the builders would make hundreds of crores of money.
Therefore, in this case, it seems clear that the builders who purchased the sub-plots from Guru Ashish Builders did so knowingly, with full knowledge that this was illegal, and yet they went ahead and did it and made millions out of sales of flats to unsuspecting buyers. Therefore, these builders, like Ekta Everglade Developer’s Ashok Mohanani and Kiyana Ventures’s Parag Munot and other builders need to be treated in the same manner as persons associated with HDIL and Guru Ashish. Therefore, Enforcement Directorate’s decision to not investigate the roles of this builders more closely is surprising and reeks of selective targeting to please their political masters.
The irony here is that Ekta Everglade Developer’s Ashok Mohanani and Kiyana Ventures’s Parag Munot have actually approached the High Court and represented themselves as an aggrieved party in this matter. They have made hundreds of crores out of these shady purchase deals and are now portraying themselves as the victims before the Hon’ble High Court.
Enforcement Directorate has clearly done one sided investigation here and not gone after proceeds of crime, that they say they usually do. All the builders who purchased these land parcels from Guru Ashish should be treated as accused. All the Legal advisors who vetted these documents, all the Chartered accountants who advised these builders and looked after vetting of legal documents should be questioned and their roles in this scam should be examined. The MHADA Officials, who diluted the terms of the initial agreement should also be questioned. Thousands of home buyers are stuck in a lurch, while the builders who built and sold the flats have made crores. They need to be probed in a fair, impartial way and all angles to this scam should be thoroughly and impartially investigated by the ED and guilty should be bought to book.