Manish Pachouly , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 02, 2012
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) will soon start summoning flat holders in the tainted Adarsh Cooperative Housing Society to gather evidence that would help them attach the properties in the cases found to have violated the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA).
The ED had on Monday informed the Bombay high court that it would start attaching the properties once the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) files the charge sheet.
The ED had also informed the court that it has already registered an Enforcement Case Information Report (ECIR) against all the 14 persons booked by the CBI. Sources said that to attach properties, the agency would have to gather concrete evidence, for which flat owners suspected to have violated the money laundering law need to be summoned.
The first set of summons would go to the relatives, friends and acquaintances of the accused, named in the first information report (FIR) by the CBI, and who hold flats in Adarsh.
During investigation, the CBI has come across instances where one person holds more than one flat and where flats have been booked in the names of drivers or those with very meagre incomes.
In a recent remand, the CBI had said that former member of legislative council and one of the promoters of the society, Kanhaiyalal Gidwani, had revealed that out of four flats (suspected to be benami, i.e. in proxy names) he holds, two are reserved in proxy names to oblige some high and mighty persons in the government of Maharashtra who dealt with the file during the relevant period and two others for a similar purpose.
The payments for the above flats have been made by Gidwani through his bank accounts.
Sources said that there are many such cases where actual owners of the flats are different from the people in whose names the flats are registered.
The ED will record statements to find out the actual source of payments made for the flats in question.
For this, the ED plans to go into the entire trail of money -- from its origin till the payment was made for the flats.
Sources said the ED would wait before summoning the accused named in the CBI’s FIR, with 9 out of 14 accused behind bars.
Sources said since these accused are in judicial custody, the court's permission would be required to record their statements, and it would also be difficult to take bulk of the documents to the jail.
The ED would therefore summon them once they are out on bail.
Sources said recording statements of family members, friends and acquaintances on whose names the flats are booked would be valuable at this stage.
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Comment: The former chief's who had booked houses in the Adarsh Housing Scam and subsequently withdrawn need to be investigated for money laundering and black money generated by accepting bribes from munition dealers.