After alleged links between Dawood’s aide Iqbal Mirchi and senior NCP leader Praful Patel emerged on Monday, new links between former Civil aviation Minister Praful Patel and HDIL promoters – Rakesh and Sarang Wadhawans – who are accused in the PMC Bank have emerged on Tuesday. This is in addition to the alleged links between Patel and Dawood’s aide Iqbal Mirchi, which was revealed on Monday. The new alleged link to a recent scam opens an array of questions about the former Civil aviation minister. Patel is already facing an ED investigation of the Aviation Scam of 2008-2009.
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Here are the takeaways:
Misuse of power?
The frequent usage of the Wadhawans’ private jet by Praful Patel and even his wife hint at Patel’s alleged close links with the Wadhawans. Apart from that, Praful Patel was a Union Minister at the time of the flights. This shows Praful Patel’s alleged misuse of political power and the Union cabinet office. Praful Patel had earlier already allegedly misused his cabinet position in the Aviation scam to favour private airlines over Air India. The new links with the now-accused Wadhawans’ hint at his own role in the PMC scam.
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Role in scam?
The PMC Bank scam occurred when PMC Bank officials gave loans to HDIL between the year 2008 and August 2019 despite not paying the previous loans. These alleged flights taken by Praful Patel along with HDIL promoter Rakesh Wadhawan raise questions in his involvement in HDIL and PMC by extension. The Wadhawans have been kept in judicial custody by the ED in connection with a fraud of over Rs 4,355 crores, with the ED probing into their assets for money laundering. Questions have been raised whether Praful Patel himself will allegedly come under the ED scanner.
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What else is he involved in?
Praful Patel is under the ED scanner for misusing his Cabinet position as a Civil Aviation Minister. He has been questioned time and again by the ED for his alleged links with lobbyist Deepak Talwar for securing undue benefits to private airlines like Emirates, Air Arabia, and Qatar Airways. Earlier on Monday, links between Iqbal Mirchi – an international drug smuggler and Patel had emerged over a sale deed of Ceejay properties. Patel and his wife are named as the co-owners in Ceejay properties. Apart from this, now Praful Patel’s alleged usage of Wadhawans’ jet have also emerged. This raises his alleged involvement in the PMC scam itself.
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