Mumbai: The special PMLA court on Thursday rejected the bail plea of Jayram Deshpande, the then sub-divisional officer of Dapoli who was booked in connection with a money laundering case involving the Sai Resort NX which is linked to Shiv Sena (UBT) leader Anil Parab.
The special judge MG Deshpande while rejecting his bail plea observed that, "Accorded sanction for conversion of agricultural to non-agricultural use of the land (where the resort was built) and construction therein with full knowledge that such sanction cannot be granted legally and if granted it would be turn illegal, yet granted the same and thereby ‘knowingly assisted’ the process of money-laundering."
The court noted that in the application filed for approval of construction and conversion of land there was a mention of a path which could lead to the plot where the resort was built. But in fact, the court noted that land records revealed that there was no mention of the path or a way in the map records.
"Being head of the institution and Sanctioning Authority (SDO), great responsibility was on the shoulder of the applicant (Deshpande) to visit the spot, verify the facts noted in the Panchanama and check the details therein. Also, cautious scrutiny of the real facts ought to have been made by the Sanctioning Authority i.e. Deshpande. Prima-facie the facts on record clearly indicate that even the applicant (Deshpande) was quite aware of and knowing well that the whole land was under the prohibitions imposed by CRZ-III Rules and construction therein cannot be permitted at any cost. Rather granting permission with such fake and false data, details and bogus Panchanama, he should have rejected the same. However, he did nothing as such," the court observed.
ED had alleged that, Parab in connivance with his close aide Sadanand Kadam built Sai Resort-NX by investing unaccounted money in cash and the same was in violation of CRZ-III Rules. Subsequently, when the fraud came to light, Kadam started showing expenses in his book for the construction and showed expenses of ₹3.59 crore in the year 2020-21.
Inspection of the ledger indicated that approximately ₹60 Lakh was still outstanding to various vendors and ₹51 Lakh was paid in cash for various purposes. It was further revealed that bills submitted to the investigating officer to show expenses were also fake.
It was claimed that the then S.D.O Deshpande had shown false and fabricated reports to Sudhir Pardule, the then Circle Officer and took them on record without following dur procedure and calling for the report of Town Planner and issued approval order stated September 12, 2007.
ED claimed that he granted illegal permission for conversion of agriculture, knowingly well that it falls within Coastal Regulation Zone-III (CRZ-III) which is No Development Zone and any new construction is strictly prohibited therein, as per CRZ Notification of 2011.