Nirav Modi PNB case: Now Maharashtra farmers claim they were duped by diamond merchant

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New Delhi | Updated: April 5, 2018 8:45:56 AM

Nirav Modi PNB case: In a more trouble for Nirav Modi, farmers from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra have alleged that they were duped by the beleaguered billionaire businessman. The farmers have claimed that they had sold 85 acres land to Modi's company after they were told that it would be taken over by the government for a bird sanctuary.

NIRAV MODI PNB CASEIt has been learnt that Modi’s company Firestone Trading Pvt Ltd was slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh by the Ahmednagar district administration two years ago.

Nirav Modi PNB case: In a more trouble for Nirav Modi, farmers from Ahmednagar in Maharashtra have alleged that they were duped by the beleaguered billionaire businessman. The farmers have claimed that they had sold 85 acres land to Modi’s company after they were told that it would be taken over by the government for a bird sanctuary. Farmers have also claimed that they were given “throwaway prices” for the land from 2011 to 2013, according to The Indian Express report.

It has been learnt that Modi’s company Firestone Trading Pvt Ltd was slapped a fine of Rs 10 lakh by the Ahmednagar district administration two years ago. The district administration had taken the action against Modi’s company because it had set up a solar plant on 60 acres of the above-mentioned land “without converting the agriculture land into non-agriculture land”, the report says.

According to officials, the solar plant is now non-operational. The farmers, meanwhile, ploughed a portion of the land under question in Karjat taluka last month as a “symbolic” re-assertion of their right over it. Modi’s lawyer Vijay Agarwal said that he knew about the symbolic ploughing of land that has taken place, but claimed he did not not have knowledge about the “land deal”.

The records at the Karjat sub-registrar’s office show that nearly 37 acres were purchased in the name of Modi and 48 acres by Firestone Trading Pvt Ltd in the villages of Khandala, Goikarwada and Kaprewadi on the Karjat-Jamkhed road, about 200 km east of Pune. It has been learnt that Rs 29.31 lakh was paid for the 37 acres by Modi — around Rs 79,216 per acre on average — without seeking any change in the use of land. They also show that Firestone paid Rs 1.17 crore for 48 acres — Rs 2.43 lakh per acre on average — while specifying that it was for commercial purposes.

The farmers have claimed they sold their land for sums ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 25,000 per acre to Modi and his company.

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