Activist and former AAP leader Anjali Damania has sought action against former Maharashtra PWD minister Chhagan Bhujbal and his associates in ‘shell companies’ based in Kolkata under the amended Benami Transactions (Prohibition) Act, 2016. Saying she had demanded seizure of their properties, Damania told PTI she had filed complaint with Director General of (Investigation), Enforcement Directorate, arguing that as the agency had already verified the allegations levelled by her in a PIL, Bhujbal’s and his family’s benami properties must be seized and their monetary value recovered.
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“I have filed two complaints. The first is against Chhagan Bhujbal, (nephew) Sameer Bhujbal, (son) Pankaj Bhujbal (beneficial owners) and fictitious directors (benamidars) holding the benami companies and assets for Bhujbal family. The second is against Bhujbal family (beneficial owners) and the Kolkata-based khoka companies (shell companies) and their operators who have been moving the money through hawala and routing it into private limited companies,” she said.
“The Centre and the state government had time and again made claims, especially after demonetisation, of punishing people for black money and corruption. If they are serious by introducing and notifying the act, there should be immediate action against these complaints,” she said.
As per the act any benami property is liable to be confiscated by the Central Government.
“Putting Bhujbal in jail only partially serves the purpose. If the government is really determined to put complete stop to corruption and black money, then it should set a precedent by seizing the property,” she said.
She has also given documents, and named 12 persons, relatives or employees of Bhujbal-run Mumbai Educational Trust, saying these people had admitted that they were ‘dummy directors’, acting on behalf of Bhujbal family.
Bhujbal is at present in jail after the ED arrested him in a money-laundering case.