The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police has registered a case against Shiv Sena (UBT) legislator Ravindra Waikar and five others in connection with the construction of a luxury hotel in a western suburb, an official said on Friday.
According to the official, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had given land to the Supremo Club at Jogeshwari to run a sports facility but Waikar allegedly used his clout to obtain permission to facilitate the construction of a five-star hotel there causing loss to the civic body.
This amounted to a violation of the agreement with the BMC about the use of the land, he said.
The case was registered on Thursday on the complaint of a BMC official at the Azad Maidan police station, the official said.
The FIR (first information report) has been registered for cheating, criminal breach of trust, criminal conspiracy and dishonestly including delivery of property, the official said. Waikar's wife has also been named in the FIR, he said.
As per the official, the BMC had received complaints that Waikar and others had allegedly misled the civic body and obtained permission to construct a luxury hotel on the plot, which was reserved for public use as a ground or garden.
The 8000-square metre plot was bought by Waikar and others in 1999. It belonged to the Amrohi family, which also owns the renowned Kamal Amrohi Studios along Jogeshwari Vikhroli Link Road.
The official said for limited development of the said plot there was a tripartite agreement between plot owner, Waikar and four others, as well as the BMC. Under this agreement, 67 per cent of the plot was to be kept for public utility and the rest could be used for development.
Ravindra Waikar, his wife Manisha Waikar, Aasu Nihlani, Raj Lalchandani, late Pritpal Singh Bindra, his architect Arunkumar Dubey, allegedly as part of a conspiracy, misled the BMC and obtained permission between January 2021 and July 2021 for constructing a luxury hotel, the complainant mentioned in the FIR.
The plot, which was reserved for entertainment and sports activities, was given to MLA Waikar and others by BMC with a trust for free public utilisation but they allegedly used it for personal gains by giving it for the marriages, parties and other commercial activities and earned crores of rupees, the FIR mentioned.
Accordingly, an FIR was registered against Waikar and others under Indian Penal Code sections 120B, 406 and 420 for cheating, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and other offences, the official said.
Earlier, the EOW had launched a preliminary inquiry after BJP leader Kirit Somaiya alleged that Waikar illegally obtained approval for the construction of a five-star hotel on a plot reserved for a garden by using his political clout which caused losses to the BMC.
In his complaint, Somaiya alleged the ”scam” was worth Rs 500 crore.
The EOW then sent notices to officials of the BMC's Garden and Building Department asking them to join the investigation.
Waikar has been an MLA from Jogeshwari East for three consecutive terms since 2009 and was a minister in the Devendra Fadnavis cabinet between 2014 and 2019.
He was a BMC corporator from 1992 to 2010 and served as chairman of the powerful Standing Committee of the civic body between 2006 and 2010.