New Delhi: In a shocking development, documents show that the Gandhi family controlled enterprise Associated Journals procured over 3,500 square metres of land at throwaway prices and constructed a commercial property over it decades later. Mre concerning is the fact that the land on which the building stands was originally earmarked for a SC/ST hostel, reveal the documents accessed by Times Now
The documents accessed by Times Now, show that the land in question was procured through Associated Journals Limited (AJL) at throwaway prices in 1983. The large tract of land is located in Mumbai's prime commercial locality in Bandra East. According to a 2017 estimate the land is worth a staggering Rs 262 crore.
Enforcement Directorate (ED) has attached around 3,478 square metres of land belonging to the Gandhi controlled AJL.
Land meant for SC/ST hostel
Documents from the land records in Mumbai show that the land was sanctioned by the then government for the construction of a hostel for Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe students in 1967. However, the land was purchased through the AJL in 1983 at a very low price and no construction was done on it for the next 17 years. A commercial 9-storey building was constructed on the land only in 2000.
There have been several other violations of the land rules in the AJL building. The document show that maximum construction limit on the land was to be 20,000 sq ft but AJL constructed a commercial building occupying over 80,000 sq ft of the land.
Further, the land act in Maharashtra clearly say that if commercial buildings are built on government-owned land, 50% of its revenue must be paid to the government. However, in this case, the Associated Journals controlled by the Gandhi family made a illegal contract with the then government as per which they paid only 30% of their revenue to the government and retained the rest 70% with themselves.
Senior Congress leader Motilal Vohra is the president of the AJL which is owned by the Gandhi family.