The adjudicating authority (AA) under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) had recently confirmed the provisional attachments of assets of ARA properties. Following which an eviction notice was sent by the ED which has been probing the said firm in connection with a money laundering case registered against Bhosale and others.
Avinash Bhosale is one of Maharashtra’s biggest contractor turned businessmen and real estate developer. His arrest by the Central Bureau of Investigation has a lot of political significance. Bhosle over the years has had a good equation with the leaders of all political parties however he is known especially close to the Sharad Pawar family. In 2011 it came to light that Ajit Pawar was living in a bungalow in Pune whose actual owner was Bhosale. Bhosale later claimed that he had sold the bungalow to Ajit Pawar.
Bhosale is being probed by multiple agencies including the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in a corruption case connected to the fraud caused to and for alleged tax evasion by the Income Tax department.
A land parcel in Pune belonging to ARA properties was attached by the ED after the probe found that the said land was transferred by one, Ranjit
to ARA Properties in violation of original allotment conditions existing at that point of time, whereby the land could have been transferred only to the Government or Commissioned Officers, being a primary condition at the time of allotment of the said land by the government in 1951. As per the allegation the market value of the attached asset is around 100 crore.
Advocate Vijay Aggarwal and Ayush Jindal appeared for Ara properties. It was argued that since the appellate tribunal established under the PMLA Act is not functional due to the “lack of quorum” the appeal to the adjudicating authority’s final order won’t get listed for hearing so they have to approach the Bombay HC,
It was also argued by advocate Aggarwal that there is no schedule offence against Bhosale therefore the present attachment order will not stand before the appellate tribunal.
The ED while presenting its case before the AA had contested this claim contending that the agency had relied on a FIR registered by the Pune police in 2016 and an enforcement complaint information report (ECIR) was registered by ED in March, 2020. “,, the offence under PMLA is a continuous offence and therefore the date of commission of offence is not important, but on the date of registration of ECIR whether the proceeds of crime generated from such criminal activity is being continued to be held or not, is the test that has to be qualified for initiation of PMLA proceedings”, the ED had argued,
The probe had found that Mohite who had inherited the plot developed the said land parcel with two persons including Bhosale’s son Amit. The said development was in contravention of the government norms. The plot was transferred by Mohite to ARA Properties in contravention of the society norm of allotting it to only gazetted officer/ commissioned officers “ARA Properties constructed a commercial building at the said plot which is being occupied by ABIL and others without paying any rent to ARA Properties,” the ED told the AA. “ABIL is not a member of ARA Properties, Merely Amit Bhsoale being a director in ABIL does not permit them to occupy the said premises without paying any rent,” it added. “Avinash Bhosale is one of the beneficiaries of proceeds of crime,” it further added.