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Mumbai’s Patra Chawl redevelopment: EOW books developer in Rs1,034 crore scam

The quantum of the entire fraud might increase to Rs2,000 crore, sources in the police department said.

mumbai Updated: Mar 16, 2018 00:42 IST
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Vijay Kumar Yadav
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Mumbai news,Patra chawl redevelopment
(Picture for representation)

The Mumbai Police Economic Offence Wing (EOW) on Wednesday, registered an FIR against developer Guruashish and others in the Rs1,034 crore Goregaon Patra Chawl redevelopment scam, on the complaint of the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (Mhada).

The quantum of the entire fraud might increase to Rs2,000 crore, sources in the police department said.

The development has come, after chief minister Devendra Fadnavis recently directed Mhada to lodge a criminal offence against builders, who are undertaking projects at the site.

Police have registered an FIR (of which HT has a copy) against the director of Guruashish Constructions Private limited and others under sections of the Indian Penal Code – 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust by public servant, or by banker, merchant or agent) and 420 (cheating).

The redevelopment of the Patra Chawl has been mired in controversy since the beginning.

In 2007, Mhada allowed Guruashish to redevelop and rehabilitate 672 chawl tenants.

Developer Guruashish was given the contract of redevelopment of the Patra Chawl in Siddharth Nagar, spread across 47 acres by Mhada. He was supposed to give 767sqft built up area flats to each tenant and 2,28,961.13sqft constructed area to Mhada. In lieu of this he was given rest of the land for his development projects.

The accused Guruashish allegedly gave rents to the displaced tenants for the initial two years. Later, he stopped giving them rent.

“The accused developer disposed of various parcels of Mhada land for construction of free sale component to various third party developers without obtaining consent from Mhada and received substantial amount of money running in thousands of crore for sale. The third party developers have in turn sold flats in the free sale component to various flat purchasers and have also received substantial considerations towards the same,” states Mhada executive engineer Nitin Gadkari, the complainant in the FIR.

“He allegedly breached the trust and sub-contracted the redevelopment to two-three other developers including HDIL, thus flouting the rules. He not only sub-let the contract, but also mortgaged the property to take loan, keeping Mhada in the dark,” said a Mhada official, requesting anonymity.

In January this year, Guruashish was given the last opportunity to give a clarification on the said irregularities. February 15 was the last day for him to respond to the notice, but he failed to do so. Hence, a complaint was given to the police in this regard, the official said.

“We have registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust against Guruashish and others on the complaint of Mhada. Further investigations are on. Names of more accused developers will be added to the case as and when it surfaces during investigation,” said a senior EOW official.

Police suspect that senior Mhada officials, who were on key post in 2011 could be hand-in-gloves with the accused. Their role will also be probed.

Earlier, Fadnavis had cracked the whip on Mhada ordering that an executive engineer be suspended for submitting a misleading report on the redevelopment of Siddharth Nagar at Goregaon.

First Published: Mar 16, 2018 00:42 IST