Praful Patel Wins Legal Battle as Tribunal Overturns Property Attachment in Mumbai

Mumbai, 8th June 2024: In a significant legal victory for NCP leader Praful Patel, an Appellate Tribunal handling cases under the Smugglers and Foreign Exchange Manipulators Act (SAFEMA) has overturned the attachment of four floors of a Mumbai building owned by him.

The Enforcement Directorate (ED) had initially attached these floors in Ceejay House, Worli, in July 2022, in connection with a money laundering investigation involving Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) and Iqbal Mirchi, a deceased associate of gangster Dawood Ibrahim. Patel challenged this attachment in the tribunal.

The ED had never taken possession of the property, which Patel and his family used for residence and office space.

Authorities stated that Patel had purchased properties from Iqbal Mirchi, also known as Iqbal Memon, upon which Ceejay House was built.

Previously, the financial investigation agency had also attached two floors of Ceejay House that had been given to Iqbal Mirchi’s family. The ED alleged that funds from DHFL were diverted to shell companies, which were later merged into another company named Sunblink to conceal the diversion of loans obtained from DHFL.

The investigation revealed that Sunblink was allegedly created by Kapil Wadhawan, the head of DHFL, and others to obscure the money trail for purchasing properties from the Mirchi family.

Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of DHFL, were arrested in connection with the case, and Patel was questioned in 2019.

Iqbal Mirchi’s wife and sons have been declared fugitive economic offenders by a PMLA court for failing to appear in the case. Additionally, properties belonging to Mirchi in Dubai and the UK have been attached by the ED.