Manesar land case: ED attaches properties worth Rs 42 crore

Updated: Dec 29, 2018, 20:09 IST | IANS | New Delhi

The agency alleged that ABW sold some of the licences at exorbitant prices and earned undue profits, thereby generating proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 169 crore

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday said it has provisionally attached properties worth Rs 42.19 crore of ABW Infrastructure Limited in connection with its ongoing investigation into the Manesar land deal case.

In a press release, the financial probe agency said: "ED provisionally attached immovable properties worth Rs 42.19 crore of ABW Infrastructure Ltd. and its group companies in illegal land acquisition case under Prevention of Money Laundering Act."

It said that during an investigation it was revealed that ABW and its group companies illegally acquired land from farmers at throwaway prices under the threat of acquisition by the government, during the period August 27, 2004, to August 24, 2007.

The agency said that the ABW group also procured land from other landowning companies and obtained licences for residential, commercial or group housing in a fraudulent manner in connivance with officials of different departments of the Haryana government.

The agency alleged that ABW sold some of the licences at exorbitant prices and earned undue profits, thereby generating proceeds of crime to the tune of Rs 169 crore.

It said that ABW and its group companies, in order to evade the applicable taxes and hide the aforesaid proceeds of crime, entered into false and fabricated agreements to sell the different land portions with different entities.

Later on, the said agreements to be sold were cancelled and false cancellation-cum-settlement agreements were prepared and amounts to the extent of six to seven times the amount as per agreement to sell were shown to be paid to these entities as compensation for cancelling the agreements.

The CBI had registered a case against the accused in September 2015 following allegations that private builders, in conspiracy with public servants of the Haryana government, had bought around 400 acres of land from farmers and landowners of Manesar, Naurangpur and Lakhnoula villages in Gurugram district at throwaway prices.

The land was valued, at that time, at around Rs 1,600 crore but it was bought by the builders for around Rs 100 crore.

The land was bought in the period from August 2004 to August 2007. The Congress government in Haryana, led by Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, remained in power from March 2005 to October 2014.

The CBI alleged that ABW Builders conspired with officers during the tenure of the previous Congress government to purchase the land.

Alleging a multi-crore scam in prime land in Manesar in Haryana's realty goldmine district of Gurugram, the CBI in February filed a charge-sheet in the land deal against Hooda, senior bureaucrats and others.

The charge-sheet named 34 accused including senior bureaucrats Chhattar Singh, S.S. Dhillon and M.L. Tayal and promoter of Gurugram-based real estate company ABW Builders, Atul Bansal.

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