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The questioning of Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in Mumbai on Thursday, 22 August, has put the focus back on Kohinoor CTNL, of which Thackeray had been a partner.
The ED is probing the alleged irregularities relating to loans and equity investment worth over Rs 450 crore by IL&FS (Infrastructure Leasing and Financial Services) in Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company, which is developing the Kohinoor Square tower in Mumbai's Dadar area.
Former Maharashtra chief minister and senior Shiv Sena leader Manohar Joshi's son, Unmesh Joshi, was also summoned by the ED in connection with the case.
So, What is the IL&FS-Kohinoor Case All About and How is Thackeray Involved?
Kohinoor CTNL Infrastructure Company was founded by Joshi, Thackeray, and the latter's close aide and builder Rajan Shirodkar, to purchase and develop the land of the defunct Kohinoor Mill.
A consortium of Matoshree Infrastructure and Kohinoor Group, Kohinoor CTNL, had purchased the 4.8 acre-plot during an auction for Rs 421 crore, according to a report in ThePrint.
The firm, however, seems to have an unsuccessful run so far, with its projects hitting roadblocks from time to time.
It had first planned to develop a shopping mall, but that failed to materialise, with Shirodkar citing the market crash and low lease rentals as reasons for the stalling of the project.
Then came the plan to develop a mixed commercial use building with two towers – one commercial, one residential. Once again, the project got bogged down – this time by demolition and stop-work notices, as well as financial setbacks.
The matter even reached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT), with a resolution professional suggesting the taking over of the project by an architectural firm earlier this year, ThePrint further pointed out.
All this while, IL&FS invested Rs 225 crore in Kohinoor, then sold its share, only to give out loans to the firm later again.
As far as Thackeray's involvement with the company is concerned, reports point out that he had exited from the company in 2008, along with Matoshree Infrastructure.
The ED’s notice to Thackeray also sparked a political debate with the Opposition blaming the BJP of using investigating agencies to silence a leader seen as critical of the ruling dispensation, the report added.
(With inputs from ThePrint.)
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