Dawood in mind? Govt may buy properties in Maharashtra owned by fugitives soon, says CM
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Dawood in mind? Govt may buy properties in Maharashtra owned by fugitives soon, says CM

Buyers tend to avoid such properties; Mhada can buy them at base price, use them for public work, said CM Fadnavis

mumbai Updated: Mar 21, 2018 13:08 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,Dawood Ibrahim
Amanah Shopping Centre, near Crawford market, is one of the properties owned by gangster Dawood Ibrahim.(Bhushan Koyande/HT)

The Maharashtra government is looking into the possibility of buying properties of fugitive offenders. The move is being considered as buyers tend to avoid purchasing such properties during auctions.

Chief minister Devendra Fadnavis in the state assembly said that Mumbai has several such properties, which can be bought by Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada) or other government agencies at a base price for development works.

Fadnavis also said the government is bringing amendments in the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act, so that process of returning investors’ money by auctioning properties of chit fund companies can be expedited in cheating cases.

CM Fadnavis was replying to the concerns raised by the legislators over the rise in cheating cases by chit fund companies during question hour.

Congress legislator Praniti Shinde said chit fund companies have started targeting Tier-II cities, where people are unaware about such frauds, which helps companies get away with the crime easily.

Referring to the Trimurti Chit Fund firm in Solapur, she said the company is still in business, despite a cheating case being filed against it.

“Economic offences are on the rise, and people are being cheated through various means. The MPID act was enacted by the state, but it has some shortcomings related to the process of confiscating and selling of properties. By next week, the state government is coming up with provisions to expedite that process. We may also allow the auction of such properties at lower values after conducting auctions twice or thrice, as these are distressed properties which alway get bids of lower value,” Fadnavis said.

“Moreover, the government is also considering buying properties of fugitive offenders, as common people are not keen on buying them. The properties can be bought by Mhada or any other government agency at a base price for public purpose,” the chief minister added.

The central government also faced a similar problem while trying to auction fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s properties in south Mumbai till last year.

Till November 2017, various government agencies had tried to auction Ibrahim’s properties three times in nearly two decades — 2001, 2013 and 2015, but could not find any takers for them.

Ibrahim is the main accused in the 1993 serial bomb blasts case in Mumbai.

Ranjit Patil, minister of state for home, said that they have looked into the legal aspects of buying fugitive offenders’ properties.

“We have checked whether there is any legal hitch in the state government purchasing such properties,” the minister said.

First Published: Mar 21, 2018 13:08 IST