Unitech promoter brothers shifted from Tihar to Mumbai jails

Published on Aug 29, 2021 05:21 PM IST

The Supreme Court asked the Chandra brothers to be separated and shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja Central jails in Mumbai on the basis of an ED report.

The ED had written to the Delhi Police commissioner earlier this month, seeking a probe into the alleged collusion of prison authorities with the Unitech's Chandra brothers to use the jail premises to run illegal activities.(File photo/HT)
The ED had written to the Delhi Police commissioner earlier this month, seeking a probe into the alleged collusion of prison authorities with the Unitech's Chandra brothers to use the jail premises to run illegal activities.(File photo/HT)
By | Written by Avik Roy, New Delhi

Former Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra have been shifted from Delhi's Tihar Jail to Arthur Road Jail and Taloja Central Jail in Mumbai on Saturday, as per a Supreme Court order, Tihar Jail director-general Sandeep Goel said on Sunday.

"Sanjay and Ajay Chandra both were taken under police escort to Mumbai by train on Saturday morning. They reached Mumbai and were lodged in the jails there in the early hours of Sunday," Goel said, according to news agency PTI.

This comes close on the heels of the Supreme Court taking cognisance of Enforcement Directorate (ED) report that former Unitech promoter brothers, Sanjay Chandra and Ajay Chandra, used the Tihar prison premises to run illegal activities, including influencing witnesses in an attempt to derail the investigation on money laundering charges against them.

The ED had written to the Delhi Police commissioner earlier this month, seeking a probe into the alleged collusion of prison authorities with the Chandra brothers to use the jail premises to run illegal activities.

The letter contains details of the manner in which the premises of Tihar Jail have been misused by the Chandras for engaging in illegal activities by flouting the jail manual, making transfers of assets and dissipating the proceeds of crime and influencing witnesses and attempting to derail the investigation.

A bench of Supreme Court Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah last week ordered the Delhi Police commissioner to probe into the conduct of the Tihar prison authorities on the basis of the ED allegations, and submit a report within four weeks.

The apex court asked the Chandra brothers to be separated and shifted to Arthur Road and Taloja Central jails in Mumbai.

The former promoters were arrested in 2017 on charges of duping over 500 homebuyers in at least 74 Unitech projects.

The former Unitech promoters have been found to be flouting the jail norms and using luxurious facilities and items prohibited inside prisons during multiple inspections.

The ED had told the Supreme Court earlier this month that assets worth 600 crore belonging to the Unitech group have been attached so far during the probe into the 5,000 crore money laundering case.

During an earlier probe the authorities found that the money realised from homebuyers were siphoned off.

The report of a forensic audit conducted by Grant Thornton and submitted before Supreme Court in December 2019 show that Unitech collected 14,270 crore from 29,800 homebuyers, of which 13,364 crores was traced to the bank statements, according to Hindustan Times.

The forensic report revealed that approximately 5,063.05 crore, or 40% of 13,364 crore, was not utilised by the promoters towards the construction and execution of the 74 projects homebuyers had paid for.

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