Housing Development Infrastructure Limited (HDIL) promoter Sarang Wadhawan was arrested by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai Police on Monday night, in connection with alleged irregularities in a redevelopment project allotted by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA).The redevelopment of Patrawala Chawl in Goregaon has been delayed and mired in controversies since 2007, after an agreement was signed with Guruashish Construction Private Limited.
In 2007, MHADA allowed a developer to redevelop and rehabilitate 672 tenants of the chawl. However, it received complaints that the developer sold parts of the land to other builders. It has been more than a decade since the residents have handed over their homes to the builder for redevelopment. The redevelopment work stopped in 2015 and residents have not been paid any rent for the past five years.
MHADA has alleged that the developer did not complete the project and instead, allotted the redevelopment of the plot to nine different developers for more than Rs 1,000 crore. No consent was taken from the authority and there were violations as per the agreement. The housing department had received numerous complaints from residents that the firm had given the developer’s sale component in the project to another developer.
Joint commissioner of police (EOW) Rajvardhan Sinha confirmed the arrest. Pravin Raut, another director in the company, was earlier arrested by EOW in February. Sarang Wadhawan and his father Rakesh Kumar are also directors in the firm.
As per the allegations, the developer failed to follow the norms and delayed the project. MHADA had earlier served a notice period of 30 days to the developer to terminate the project work. The agreement signed in 2008 had stipulated a 36-month deadline for the project but the developer failed to follow the rules listed in the agreement.
Following a complaint by MHADA, a case was registered in this regard under sections 120B (criminal conspiracy), 409 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) in March, 2018.
The redevelopment project is set to provide houses to at least 672 residents from Patrawala Chawl at Siddharth Nagar in Goregaon.
Sarang was lodged in Arthur Road Jail as he and others are facing charges of Rs 6,337-crore scam in the Punjab and Maharashtra Co-operative (PMC) Bank fraud case.
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) has registered a money-laundering probe inthe PMC Bank fraud case against HDIL, its directors and group of companies, for offences under Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA). The ED alleged that the Wadhawans, along with PMC Bank’s former managing director Joy Thomas and ex-chairperson Waryam Singh, had illegally availed loans from PMC Bank and cheated the bank and its depositors.
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