ED takes possession of 15 immovable ‘benami’ properties of A Raja

The company was incorporated by Raja in 2007 in the name of his family members and family friend, with the sole objective of using it as a vehicle to park proceeds of crime.
DMK’s Nilgiris MP A Raja
DMK’s Nilgiris MP A Raja

CHENNAI: Enforcement directorate has taken possession of 15 immovable properties allegedly owned by DMK’s Nilgiris MP A Raja in the name of his ‘benami’ company Kovai Shelters Promoters India Pvt Ltd, under the Prevention of Money-Laundering Act, 2002 (PMLA) in a case pertaining to disproportionate assets.

A release from the agency said Raja, during his tenure as Minister of Environment and Forests (2004 to 2007), had granted environment clearance to a real-estate company based out of Gurugram. The company had given kickbacks to Raja as quid pro quo for awarding the clearance in 2007, under the garb of land commission income in the hands of the ‘benami’ company. 

The company was incorporated by Raja in 2007 in the name of his family members and family friend, with the sole objective of using it as a vehicle to park proceeds of crime. The company never engaged in any business activity since inception, the release said.

Investigation established that properties measuring 45 acres in Coimbatore (worth Rs 55 crore) were purchased directly using the proceeds of crime generated. Therefore, to prevent the accused and his benamis from enjoying such properties, ED has invoked the provisions of Section 8(4) of PMLA and taken possession of the properties attached via provisional attachment order dated December 20, 2022, which was subsequently confirmed by the adjudicating authority (PMLA), Delhi, through an order June 1, 2023, the release said.

CBI, the release said, filed a chargesheet in August 2022 against Raja for amassing assets worth Rs 5.53 crore disproportionate to his known sources of income. Raja acquired the assets, including payment of Rs 4.56 crore to the company in which his close relatives were directors, which he could not satisfactorily account for, the release added. 

CBI  had registered the case in 2015 against Raja and 16 others, including his nephew Parmesh, wife Parameswari, his associate Krishnamurthy who is also director of Kovai Shelters Pvt Limited, wife of Sadiq Basha, an alleged associate of Raja who died by suicide, and Reha Banu, a director in Greenhouse Promoters which was earlier owned by Basha among others.

Related Stories

No stories found.
The New Indian Express
www.newindianexpress.com