Mumbai: Big relief to NCP's Ajit Pawar, as I-T department releases 3 properties seized last year

Income Tax Department released three properties including the Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill allegedly belonging to him and his relatives.

Sanjay JogUpdated: Thursday, December 15, 2022, 04:34 PM IST
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Ajit Pawar | PTI

Mumbai: Ahead of the upcoming winter session of the Maharashtra Legislature starting from December 19 at Nagpur, the leader of opposition in the state assembly and NCP chief Sharad Pawar’s nephew, Ajit Pawar received a major relief after the Income Tax Department released three properties including the Jarandeshwar Sugar Mill allegedly belonging to him and his relatives. The Income Tax Department had provisionally attached assets worth Rs 1,000 crore allegedly linked to Pawar in November last year.

The assets included a sugar factory, a residential property in South Delhi, an office in Mumbai’s upmarket area (believed to be Nirmal Tower in Nariman Point), a resort in Goa and land in different parts of the State. The department had seized the properties under the Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 1988.

A BJP leader had claimed that the properties include Jarandeshwar sugar factory worth Rs 600 crore, an office owned by Parth Ajit Pawar in South Mumbai worth Rs 25 crore, a flat in south Delhi worth Rs 20 crore, and a resort named NIlaya in Goa worth Rs 250 crore.

In October last year, teams of I-T authorities raided businesses, including sugar factories, and searched the houses of Pawar’s sisters in Kolhapur and Pune, as well as the Mumbai office of his son Parth Pawar. Sources said that none of these properties were directly owned by Pawar. 

Three properties were released based on the Supreme Court’s order delivered in August this year that properties amassed before 2016 cannot be attached and the cases cannot be made under the Prohibition of Benjamin Properties Act. 

After the department’s move last year, Pawar had said that he felt aggrieved that authorities were raiding the houses of his sisters in Pune and Kolhapur while stressing that all firms and entities linked to him had always paid their taxes regularly.

As reported by the Free Press Journal, he had further stated ‘’As the State’s Finance Minister (in the Maha Vikas Aghadi government), I am aware of the need to maintain fiscal discipline. Companies linked to me have never defaulted in taxes.’’

The NCP chief had also reacted strongly to the raids and mocked the BJP Government at the Centre by saying that he was not worried by the “guests at home” (I-T authorities).

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