Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate conducted a search operation at Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA Ravindra Waikar's residence and six other locations across Mumbai on Tuesday. The Enforcement Directorate search is underway against the Shiv Sena (UBT) MLA in connection with an alleged plot scam worth Rs 500 crores.
Waikar is accused of defrauding the BMC of Rs 500 crore by obtaining permission to build a five-star hotel on a plot reserved for BMC play ground and gardens in Jogeshwari. He used his political ties to get this approval, causing a huge loss to the BMC.
Searches At Multiple Locations Across City
ED's search operation at 7 locations is underway, including Ravindra Waikar's residence. His wife, Manisha Waikar, is also an accused in the case. The searches are taking place at the premises of Waikar's business partners Aasoo Nehlanai, Raj Lalchandani, and Prithpal Bindra, as well as architect Arun Dubey's premises.
Waikar is a member of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly, representing the Jogeshwari East Assembly Constituency. Waikar is a close aide of Maharashtra Chief Minister and Shiv Sena leader Uddhav Thackeray.
About The ₹500 Cr BMC Plot Scam
According to the registered Enforcement Directorate ECIR----the 8,000 square meter land parcel, located on Jogeshwari vikhroli link road, was in the name of Kamal Amrohi's family members. Ravindra Waikar and other associated individuals purchased the land from the Amrohi family through a notarized agreement in 2004.
The land parcel had originally been reserved for public use and gardens. In February 2004, a tri-party agreement was reached among Mahal Pictures Private Limited (Kamal Amrohi's official company and landowner), Ravindra Waikar, and the BMC for the development of the land. According to the agreement, 67 percent of the land parcel would be developed for entertainment purposes and grounds for public use, while the remaining 33 percent would be designated for sports and other games.
Waikar Misused His Political Influence
According to ECIR -In 2017, during the period of the Maha Vikas Aghadi government in Maharashtra, Ravindra Waikar is alleged to have misused his political influence and connections. He purportedly concealed the Tri-Party Agreement of 2004, enabling him to secure permission from the BMC to construct a 14-story five-star hotel on 30 percent of the land. This land was initially reserved for public use, suggesting a violation of regulations and land acquisition.The property in question, located at Vyarvali village, Jogeshwari JVLR, at Plot No.1-B and 1-C, is personally owned by Waikar and the other accused individuals, with an estimated value of 500 crores. potential unlawful acquisition of BMC land for personal gain.
According to the ECIR- Ravindra Waikar and four other accused individuals are alleged to have exploited their political influence and resources to generate substantial profits between 2004 and 2019. They did so by making use of reserved public land, specifically a 33 percent land parcel initially designated for a badminton hall and other gaming activities for public use.However, instead of adhering to the intended purpose of the land, Waikar leveraged his political connections to construct a banquet hall. Simultaneously, the remaining 67 percent of the land parcel was repurposed as a banquet lawn for hosting weddings and other events, ultimately resulting in huge financial gains.