In fresh trouble for former Member of Parliament (MP) Sameer Bhujbal, the Mumbai Police has registered a case of cheating against him in connection with a redevelopment project concerning Solitaire building in Santacruz in the western suburbs.
The Bhujbal family resides in the nine-storey building, attached by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in a multi-crore money laundering scam being probed by the central agency.
Both Sameer and his uncle, former Deputy Chief Minister Chhagan Bhujbal, are currently lodged at Mumbai’s Arthur Road jail for alleged roles in the money laundering case registered in connection with the multi-crore Maharashtra Sadan scam by the ED.
The Mumbai Police has booked Sameer Bhujbal along with six others under section 420 (cheating) and 34 (common intent) of the Indian Penal Code.
The case was registered on Thursday evening by Claude Fernandes at the Santacruz police station. Fernandes is the original owner of the plot on which Solitaire stands.
According to the complaint, Fernandes had entered into an agreement with a prominent realty company to redevelop his plot where his bungalow ‘La Petit Fleur’ was located.
Later, Parvesh Construction Pvt Ltd, whose director is Sameer Bhujbal, bought the redevelopment rights of the plot owned by Fernandes from this prominent realty company.
When Parvesh Construction took the plot, Fernandes’ bungalow was demolished to construct the Solitaire building. Fernandes, who was promised flats in lieu of his land, claims he did not get anything even after completion of the project.
The ED had attached the building in December last year claiming that funds to redevelop the said building came from kickbacks received by Bhujbal in the Maharashtra Sadan scam.
It says contractor KS Chamankar bagged the project of developing the Maharashtra Sadan building in New Delhi when Chhagan Bhujbal was State Public Works Department (PWD) minister.
The agency claims Parvesh Construction was one of the six companies floated by Bhujbals to re-route their alleged ill-gotten gains. In Parvesh Construction itself, the Bhujbals are alleged to have parked Rs 12.91 crore of the bribe amount they allegedly received from Chamankar.
While seeking Chhagan Bhujbal’s custody, the agency too had claimed that Solitaire building was developed by Parvesh construction, but the original owners were not given a single inch of land.
However, defending himself, Chhagan Bhujbal had told the court he was not aware of the deal between Sameer and the owner and if the owner wasn’t given his due, then Sameer should compensate him.