New Delhi: Minutes after summoned by the Enforcement Directorate in connection with a land deal case related to gangster Iqbal Mirchi, senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Praful Patel on Tuesday said there was no wrongdoing the Ceejay House deal and all the news reports surfaced online are speculative.
Saying that he does not have ideas as to who leaked the important documents, Patel said the matter is under investigation and hence he won’t comment on it further.
“No idea who has leaked these documents, it is a matter under investigation and so I did not want to comment,” he said.
According to ED officials, Patel’s Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd constructed a building called Ceejay House in 2006-07 and its third and fourth floors were transferred to Mirchi’s wife Hajra Iqbal.
The land on which the building tower was made is said to be owned by Mirchi. Investigators claim the land was purchased from the proceeds of crime of money laundering, drugs trafficking and alleged extortion crimes.
Earlier in the day, the ED summoned Patel to appear before the law agency on October 18 in Mumbai. He will be appearing before the ED after his name had reportedly appeared in a land deal case related to gangster Iqbal Mirchi.
The ED will record Patel’s statement under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act in connection with a deal between a real estate company promoted by Patel and his wife and wife of Mirchi.
The ED has summoned the NCP leader at a time when the assembly election in Maharashtra is due on October 21. After his name reportedly appeared in a land deal case related to Muhammed Iqbal Memon alias Iqbal Mirchi, he on Monday had said he will give an answer when the ‘time comes’.
“When the time comes, I will answer whatever I have to,” Patel had told ANI when asked about the same.
Earlier, former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Congress leader Prithviraj Chavan said the NDA government should investigate if there was any deal between Patel with Iqbal Mirchi.
“If any deal or agreement was done, then this government (Modi government) should investigate and tell us what’s happened,” he was quoted as saying by ANI.
Meanwhile, the BJP has demanded a reply from party chief Sharad Pawar in the matter. “Praful denied he did not have any linkage. There is a property deal and an affidavit was signed. Signatures of Praful Patel and Iqbal Mirchi’s wife Hajra Milan were there,” Sambit Patra said.
Mirchi had bought three properties Sea View, Marium Lodge and Rabia Mansion totally measuring 1,537 square metres in Worli area of Mumbai in September 1986 for an amount of Rs 6.5 lakh through his company Rockside Enterprises. As per reports, Mirchi later transferred his plot to Patel family-promoted company Millennium Developers Pvt Ltd. This alleged legal land deal is the focus of the ED’s probe. As per the earlier investigation, the ED had seized vital evidence in the form of e-mails, documents and other digital proofs. Notably, one of the documents showed Hazra Memon, the wife of Iqbal Mirchi, as the owner of a plot in Worli.
The ED has identified benami properties of Mirchi, including 10 properties in Mumbai, one property in UAE and 25 properties in the UK.
This is not the first time, he was earlier questioned by the ED in another money laundering case linked to the aviation scam. Mirchi is alleged to be the right-hand man of Dawood Ibrahim in drug trafficking and extortion crimes.
(With inputs from PTI, ANI)