The PIL of Dadar resident Gauri Bhide claims that Uddhav and his family have never disclosed any service, profession and business as their official source of income yet they own huge properties in a metro city like Mumbai and in Raigad district .
Mumbai,UPDATED: 19 Oct 2022 13:04 IST
The PIL claims that the Thackerays have amassed huge properties in the Mumbai and Raigad district.
By Vidya : A public interest criminal lawsuit filed in the Bombay Supreme Court has asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) to conduct “thorough and impartial” investigations into the alleged disproportionate assets of the former chief minister of Maharashtra and Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray and his family.
The plea filed by Dadar resident Gauri Bhide, a behavioral and soft skills consultant and whose family also owned a printing press in Prabhadevi, filed the plea stating that: “As a sincere and vigilant citizen of this country, I thought helping the (Central) government to some extent in digging up some more hidden, unaccounted for wealth that is disproportionate to income and also laundered money.”
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The plea argues that Bhide was inspired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s fight against corruption and she has attached documents as documentary evidence to her petition “describing the way corruption has taken place and huge property and assets have been illegally collected” by Uddhav Thackeray and his family. .
“It will be clear from those exhibitions that holding an official position with a political party cannot in itself be a legal source of income. Likewise, holding the constitutional positions of prime minister and minister in a state is also not a source of income, as the remuneration is limited,” states its PIL.
Her petition claims that Uddhav and his family have never disclosed any “special 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 the Raigad district, which could amount to millions of dollars,” the plea adds.
The plea also refers to raids carried out by the CBI and ED on people “who are very, very close to them” and adds that it is “crystal clear that the vast undisclosed property, cash and other wealth with those persons have a close connection” to the Thackerays.
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Bhide states that she noted the belongings of Uddhav’s son Aditya in his election affidavit and conducted her own investigation. “My findings were shocking,” she says. It states that both Thackeray publications, the newspaper ‘Saamna’ and the magazine ‘Marmik’, have never been subject to an audit by the Audit Bureau van Circulation and that no one knows their print order.
The petition states that during the Covid19 lockdown and the period of the pandemic, when the entire print media suffered heavy losses, Thackeray’s company Prabodhan Prakashan Pvt. Ltd., showed a “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 minister.
“It appears that it is a clear case of turning black money into white. The unaccounted-for money collected from BMC and other sources may have been unfairly (sic) digested (sic) in the accounts of the aforementioned company and fictitious profit figures have been shown for this digest. This is not just a conjecture or unfounded claim. The account statements of these companies will clearly reveal the fact. These assets are mainly benami transactions,” her petition adds.
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The plea argues that from 2020, the company’s stock pattern was changed to ensure that new shareholder Tejas, the youngest son of Uddhav Thackeray, would also benefit from the family business.
“Since the ‘Marmik’ and ‘Saamna’ cannot be the bread butter and earner of the family, given their extravagant lifestyle, their political equipment, Shiv Sena and her corporations and especially the chairmen of the Standing and Improvement Committees of the BMC , is their one and only medium or source to create ‘wealth’,” the petition states.
Bhide says she has a “hunch” that BJP leader Kirit Somaiya or even the CBI and ED must have massive information and links regarding the Thackerays.