EOW arrests HDIL promoter Sarang Wadhwan in Rs 1,034-crore scam
EOW suspects that MHADA officials, who had held key posts in 2011, were hand-in-glove with the accused and their role will also be probedUpdated: Sep 15, 2020 08:19 IST
Mumbai Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) arrested Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoter Sarang Wadhawan late Monday evening in connection with the Rs 1,034-crore scam involving the Goregaon Patra Chawl redevelopment project.
A first information report (FIR) was filed against Guruashish Constructions Private (Pvt) Limited (Ltd), a subsidiary of HDIL, in March 2018 on the basis of a complaint by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).
Wadhawan was lodged in Arthur Road Jail after he was arrested in October 2019 along with his father and others by the EOW in connection with the Rs 6,337-crore fraud at the Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank.
“We have arrested Sarang Wadhwan to investigate the Patra Chawl redevelopment fraud case. He will be produced in court on Tuesday,” said an EOW official.
Wadhawan is one of the directors of Guruashish Constructions. He was booked along with other directors of the firm, under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in March, 2018 on the basis of the complaint by MHADA.
In February Pravin Raut, also a director in the company, was arrested by EOW.
EOW suspects that MHADA officials, who had held key posts in 2011, were hand-in-glove with the accused and their role will also be probed.
The redevelopment of Patra Chawl in Siddharth Nagar has been mired in controversy since the beginning.
In 2007, MHADA had allowed Guruashish Constructions to redevelop the chawl spread over 47 acres and rehabilitate its 672 tenants.
However, later, MHADA received complaints that Guruashish Constructions had sold the project to another developer. The charge was denied by the firm’s directors.
In lieu of the development rights of the property, Guruashish Constructions was to give 767 square (sq) feet (ft) built-up area flats to each of the 672 tenants and 2,28,961 sq ft constructed area to MHADA.
The accused developer also stopped paying transit rent to the displaced tenants after two years.
“The developer disposed of various parcels of MHADA land for construction of free sale component buildings to various third party developers without obtaining consent from the authorty and received substantial amounts of money, running into thousands of crores of rupees. The third party developers have sold flats in the free sale component to various purchasers and have also received substantial amounts of money,” Nitin Gadkari, executive engineer, MHADA, had alleged in the complaint.
“Guruashish Constructions allegedly breached the trust and sub-contracted the redevelopment to two-three other developers. The accused not only sublet the contract, but also mortgaged the property to take loan, while keeping MHADA in the dark,” said another official.
In January, 2018 Guruashish Constructions was given the last opportunity to clarify its alleged irregularities by February 15. An FIR was filed because it had failed to respond to the notice before the deadline expired, said the official.