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Choksi bought 25 acres in ’08 for Panvel SEZ

NAVI MUMBAI: Diamantaire Mehul Choksi’s identify has cropped up in suspicious land offers courting again to 2008 for a Panvel-based gemstones and jewelry particular economic zone (SEZ) that never were given off the ground.

Records show Choksi bought land for a diamond SEZ in his own identify and a few of his buddies, and not in his corporate’s, in violation of SEZ laws. Choksi and aides own 25 acres in Panvel price Rs 300 crore at present marketplace costs.

His corporate, Gitanjali Gems Ltd (GGL), was to buy the land in two Panvel villages that fell in the green zone then, with the mentioned function of setting up an SEZ. Panvel tehsildar’s place of work is investigating this situation.

Documents, copies of which might be with TOI, show that GGL had implemented for the SEZ on 25 acres of land before Malini Shankar, the then development commissioner (industries), in Chirvat and Sangurli villages in 2008 under Mumbai Tenancy and Agricultural Land Act 1948. The two villages then fell in the green zone.

The order came with three riders. One, GGL had to download permission from the planning division and MMRDA to convert the fairway zone land in the two villages for bona fide commercial use. Accordingly, GGL had submitted an affidavit for the fairway zone permission. Two, the land was to be purchased inside of two years, and three put to commercial use inside of five years of the order dated March 31, 2008. Else, the land homeowners would have the right to repurchase the land on the similar acquire value. The land is but to be returned to the unique homeowners regardless that.

On May 4, 2017, Vikas Jain, the then development commissioner (industries), cancelled the purchase order, mentioning that the Central govt had withdrawn the permission granted for the SEZ using the sundown clause. GGL two times represented the case before the improvement commissioner (industries) on April 15 and 24, 2017. Lack of development in submissions, regardless that, in any case resulted in cancellation of the land acquire order.

Vinod Lachake, Panvel tehsildar place of work senior clerk, stated, “The SEZ land acquire and cancellation orders have been received from the Raigad collector. The land main points are being checked. Nowhere is GGL mentioned or represented through Choksi in the 7/12 land extracts.” A 7/12 report is an extract from the land sign up which gives details about a plot.

Activist Santosh Thakur stated, “The green zone villages were denotified around 2012 following objection of villagers.” RTI activist Bharat Jadhav stated, “People in close by spaces don't even know that a gemstones SEZ was to come back up right here. Their land were purchased at throwaway costs by way of middlemen.” Chirvat villager Santosh Choudhary stated, “It’s two years because the order was cancelled and but no person has sought the land again.”

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