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Friday, Nov 22, 2019

‘Speculative views’: Praful Patel after ED notice on alleged land deal with Dawood aide

The ED is among several agencies examining the purported land deal involving Mirchi’s relatives for alleged links with Patel.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2019 19:16 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Praful Patel. (ANI photo)
Praful Patel. (ANI photo)

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Tuesday issued summons to Nationalist Congress Party leader Praful Patel, asking him to appear before it in Mumbai on Friday for questioning in connection with an alleged land deal with late gangster Iqbal Mirchi, who was a close aide of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim, officials said.

The ED is among several agencies examining the purported land deal involving Mirchi’s relatives for alleged links with Patel.

According to ED officials, Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed a building called Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal. The land on which the building tower was made is said to be owned by Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime of money laundering, drugs trafficking and alleged extortion crimes, PTI reported.

Patel and the NCP have denied any wrongdoing in the deal and said that the property papers explain that the transaction is “clean and transparent”.

Shortly after the summons were issued, Patel addressed a press conference where he described his alleged links with Mirchi as speculative.

“There are speculative views and documents which may have been leaked to media. Obviously, you are in possession of some papers which may have never been brought to my attention,” he said according to ANI.

He also said he was not in charge of the property and that everything is now with the receiver of the Bombay high court.

“At this stage everything is with court receiver of the high court. We are nowhere directly looking after the property and neither are we directly in charge of it,” Patel said.

Patel, who was the aviation minister during the United Progressive Alliance regime, had earlier rubbished reports of his links with Mirchi, saying there was “not an iota of truth” in the allegations.

Iqbal Mirchi, whose real name was Muhammad Iqbal Memon, was the right hand man of Dawood Ibrahim and was wanted for the 1993 Mumbai blasts. He died in the UK in August 2013 at the age of 63. He was also one of the world’s top drug barons before shifted his attention to betting in cricket in his last years.