Former Maharashtra chief minister and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family are under the scanner of ED and CBI for “disproportionate” assets. Public interest litigation (PIL) has urged Bombay High Court. It is listed for hearing on Wednesday before justices Sanjay Gangapurwala and R Petitioner Gouri Bhide a Dadar resident said “As a alert citizen of this country, I thought of helping the (Central) government to some extent in unearthing some more hidden, unaccounted wealth disproportionate to income and also unearth laundered money,”. Her father Abhay (78) is the second petitioner.
The Centre, the State, CBI, ED, Uddhav, his wife Rashmi and sons Aditya and Tejas are made respondents. Gouri has annexed documents to her petition “which elaborate the way in which corruption has taken place and huge properties and assets have been accumulated illegally” by Uddhav, Aditya and Rashmi. “It will be clear from those exhibits that holding an official post in any political party by itself cannot be a legal source of income. Similarly, holding the constitutional posts of chief minister and cabinet minister in any state also is not a source of income as the remuneration is limited,” Her petition alleges that Uddhav, Aditya and Rashmi have never disclosed any “particular service, profession and business as their official source of income.” “Yet we find that they have huge properties in a metro city like Mumbai and in Raigad district, which may run into crores,” it adds. It refers to raids conducted by CBI and ED on people “who are very very (sic) close” to them and adds that is “crystal clear that the huge undisclosed properties, cash and other wealth with those persons have a close nexus” to the trio.
Gouri’s family, like the Thackerays, were into printing press businesses. Her family owned the Rajmudra printing press at Prabhadevi. The Thackerays additionally published the magazine Marmik and newspaper Saamna. When she noticed the assets of Aditya in his election affidavit, Gauri did her own investigation. It informs that both Thackeray publications have never been subject to audit by the Audit Bureau of Circulation and nobody knows their print order.
The petition states that during Covid19 lockdown and the period of pandemic, when the entire print media was facing heavy losses, Thackeray Company Prabodhan Prakashan Pvt. Ltd showed “brilliant performance” of Rs 42 crore turnover and Rs 11.5 crore profit. It was also the period when Uddhav was the CM and Aditya a cabinet minister. “It seems it’s a clear case of turning the black money into white one. The unaccounted money gathered from BMC and other sources might have been dishonestly digested (sic) into the accounts of the above mentioned company and fictitious figures of profit have been shown for this digestion. This is not just a guess or baseless allegation. The statement of accounts of these companies will clearly reveal the fact. These assets are mainly benami transactions,” her petition adds. It alleges that the company’s share holding pattern was changed to ensure from 2020 new shareholder Tejas should also benefitted.
Gouri has a “hunch that activist Kirit Somaiya or even both the respondent central agencies must have huge information and links pertaining to” the Thackerays. Her complaint, though sent to the police commissioner on July 11, 2022 was forwarded to the Economic Offences Wing, “no further action seems to be taken and the petitioner has not been even informed about the status of her complaint.” “This clearly gives a ca?se of action for the present PIL,” her petition adds.
Gouri has prayed that HC direct the Centre, ED and CBI “to take cognisance of her complaint filed with Mumbai police and take the investigation in their hands.” Also to direct “the respondents to submit a status of the investigation every month’ to HC petition asserts