Shiv Sena leader and BMC standing committee chairman Yashwant Jadhav's cup of woes is overflowing with the Income Tax (IT) department expanding the list of properties acquired during the Covid19 Pandemic lockdown from 36 to 56 along, with jewellery purchased with Rs 6 crore cash.
IT sleuths had identified 36 properties of Yashwant Jadhav in the first phase of the probe which has now increased to 56 of which 41 properties were provisionally attached under section 132 (9)B of the Income Tax Act. The attached properties include 31 flats in Bilkhadi Chamber Building in Byculla where Jadhav lives, a flat worth Rs 5 crore in Bandra and Hotel Crown Imperial in Byculla.
“It is suspected the acquisition of all the assets was during Yashwant Jadhav being the Chairman of the Standing Committee of BMC. All attached properties are registered in the name of Yashwant Jadhav, his family members and close associates,” informed an IT officer involved in the probe.
In 4 day long searches at Yashwant Jadhav's residence and offices in February this year, IT officials seized several property documents, suspicious book entries for cash payments and expensive gifts - a watch worth Rs 50 lakh to Matoshree and Rs 2 crore gifts to Matoshree for Gudi Padwa. Jadhav claimed the entries referred to his mother as 'Matoshree' and had distributed watches on his mother's birthday and similarly distributed gifts worth Rs 2 crores in his mother's name on Gudi Padwa.
IT department has recorded the statements of the jeweller who was paid Rs 6 crores for gold jewellery and the statement of tenents paid Rs1.15 crore in cash to buy the ownership of three rooms in the building where Jadhav lived.
IT has summoned Yashwant Jadhav's close associates Vilas Mohite and Vineet Jadhav to record their statements which both of them skipped repeatedly. While Vilas Mohite used to oversee the work of Yashwant Jadhav's BMC, Vineet Jadhav was a director of BMC contractor Bimal Aggarwal's company Newshawk Multimedia Pvt Ltd. Bimal Agarwal has earlier been investigated by police and ED in the bomb disposal suit scam and betting-related cases. Jadhav is suspected to have favoured Agarwal for various BMC contracts to the tune of Rs 30 crores.
Jadhav through Newshawk Multimedia allegedly bought 31 flats in Bilakadi chambers. Jadhav allegedly paid cash to four to five tenants of the building and each was paid between 30 to 35 lakhs. There are 40 other properties that are under investigation and are suspected to be linked to Jadhav. Some payments were made to tenants through hawala channels overseas.
The hotel Crown Imperial acquired by Jadhav was also taken on rent by Newshawk Multimedia and then got a contract from BMC for the quarantine centre. The hotel was allegedly bought for Rs 1.75 crores but was then sold in a year for over Rs 20 crores.
Initial investigation into the affidavit filed by Yeshwant Jadhav's wife Yamini, Shiv Sena MLA from Byculla, had shed light on dealings with a Kolkata shell company Pradhan Dealers Pvt Ltd. Around Rs, 15 crores were received from Pradhan Dealers which was then invested in a building in Byculla and the Jadhav family returned the money to Pradhan Dealers. The same funds were then transferred to Newshawk Multimedia. Registrar of Companies, Mumbai has also submitted a complaint to Marine Drive police station asking to register a complaint against Pradhan Dealers and its directors.
IT has sought information from BMC regarding contracts approved by Standing Committee from April 2018 till date, when Jadhav was the chairman along with details of all contractors, has been sought and payments made to them by BMC.
Yashwant Jadhav and his wife Yamini remained unavailable for comments on the IT cases against them.