The Rajasthan government is all set to have a first information report (FIR) registered against beleaguered IPL boss Lalit Modi and his wife for the illegal purchase of two havelis (mansions) worth crores of rupees near the historic Amber Fort two years ago.
The law department of the Congress government headed by Ashok Gehlot is preparing to file a case against Lalit and Minal Modi on the basis of an enquiry report submitted recently to the state government. The sale was carried out when the BJP's Vasundhara Raje was chief minister of the state. The old havelis were sold despite a state government order banning the
sale of properties around Amber Fort, according to the enquiry report, which was accessed by HT.
One haveli spread over 1,500 sq yd worth crores of rupees was sold for a mere Rs 21 lakh to Heritage Construction Pvt Ltd, in which Lalit Modi and Minal Modi were directors. Another one standing on 467 sq yd was sold for Rs 9 lakh. This was first
reported by HT in 2008. Both deals were made through a middleman close to Raje, an official said on condition of anonymity.
Vikas Bhattacharya, who sold one of the havelis, said, “I have been staying in the havelis for 38 years and applied for regularisation to the municipal corporation, but in vain. I fought the case in court for 15 years and the court had told the government not to evict me from the premises. So, I sold the haveli as it was in my possession for so many years.”
The court order, however, stated clearly that though the mansion was occupied by Bhattacharya, the property belonged to the state government. Similarly, the occupant of the second haveli, Bimalesh Bhattacharya also sold it on the basis of his current possession of the property.
“The sale and purchase of the havelis was totally illegal. The municipal corporation should immediately take possession of them,” said an official. He said the government is likely to direct the municipal authorities to file an FIR not only against the Modis and Bhattacharyas but also against state government officials who connived in the dealings.