Nearly two years after the failed attempt of the Finance Ministry to auction fugitive gangster Dawood Ibrahim’s properties under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Property) (SAFEMA) Act, 1976, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is now preparing to auction his properties.
The development comes after the TADA court, which recently pronounced the judgment against seven convicts in 1993 Bombay blasts case, directed the Superintendent of Police, CBI, to expedite the process of attaching properties of 33 wanted accused including Dawood.
In his judgement, Judge G A Sanap wrote: “The SP, CBI/STF, Mumbai, shall take necessary steps to expedite the proceedings initiated for the sale of the attached property in public auction. Similarly, the SP, CBI/ STF, Mumbai, shall also initiate further proceedings for Attachment of the Properties of the absconding accused in Mumbai or in any part of India.”
The CBI has now started the process of drawing up a list of Dawood’s properties and reaching out to the Department of Revenue under the Finance Ministry. The agency is also seeking help of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) that had recently prepared a dossier against Dawood. “We are writing to both the agencies to get details of the properties and their status. Since we have been directed to auction the properties, the first step is to identify them and check their status,” an official said.
The official said CBI would soon get in touch with the Mumbai Police to get details about the properties held by the other wanted accused, Tiger Memon and Mohammad Dossa. “The Mumbai Police have dealt with the underworld and therefore, we would also seek their expertise in finding out about the properties held by the other 32 wanted accused,” said the official.
In December 2015, the government had appointed a private firm to hold an auction of Dawood’s properties under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators (Forfeiture of Properties) Act, 1976. Seven properties, including four agricultural plots in Daman, Hotel Rounaq Afroz, now known as Delhi Zaika, Tenancy rights on a flat in Mahavir building in Matunga and a car had been put up for auction.