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Lalit Modi's havelis in Jaipur sealed

November 04, 2010 15:35 IST

The Jaipur Municipal Corporation has taken possession of the two heritage havelis that were purchased by the former Indian Premier League commissioner Lalit Modi four years ago in the protected Amber Fort area, a senior official said on Thursday.

"The JMC took over the 'Bairathon ki Haveli' and 'Chhabron Ki Haveli', valued over rupees 100 crore yesterday after receiving an order from the state government," additional Superintendent of JMC Lokesh Sonawal said.

He said an enforcement team from the JMC sealed both the havelis after asking the guards to leave.

Modi and his wife Minal Modi purchased the two properties in 2007 in the name of Heritage City Construction Private Limited and later changed its name to Anand Heritage hotels.

This was during the tenure of the BJP government, led by Vasundhara Raje. Congress, which was in opposition then, had persistently raised the issue in the Assembly.

Soon after the Congress came to power, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had ordered a probe into the ownership of the havelis.

The then Jaipur Divisional Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta, who conducted an investigation into the allegations, said that the two havelis were government property and had been given heritage status under a 1974

gazette notification.

Ever since the committee under the divisional commissioner recorded its findings on April 9, 2010, the Gehlot government had been mulling action in the matter.

In April this year, a city-based NGO Nagrik Morcha, had also moved a petition before the district and sessions court at Jaipur, alleging that the couple fraudulently purchased the heritage havelis.

The Jaipur collector had written to the government last year about the "illegal purchase" of the havelis by the Modis, sources said.

The government, in its order of October 3 this year, had directed the JMC to take immediate possession of both properties, Sonawal said.

Modi, who was suspended as IPL chairman by the BCCI in April, is facing 22 charges ranging from financial irregularities to rigging bids, proxy holdings and kickbacks in broadcast deals.

The Enforcement Directorate has issued an international Blue Notice Alert for his detention citingĀ "serious contraventions" of the foreign exchange law after its probe into the finances of the T20 cricket tournaments.

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