The Enforcement Directorate has provisionally attached 45 acres of land in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, worth ₹55 crore, allegedly held in the name of a benami company of DMK leader and former Union Minister A Raja.

During the course of the investigation, the ED found that Raja, during his stint as Minister of Environment and Forests from 2004 to 2007, had granted environmental clearances to one of the largest real-estate company based out of Gurugram.

Quid pro quo

In a statement, the ED alleged it “has found that the real-estate company has given kickback to A Raja as quid pro quo for awarding the environmental clearance, around the same period in 2007, in the garb of land commission income in the hands of one benami company” of the DMK leader. Raja, according to the probing agency, incorporated the company in the same year in the name of his family members and his close family friend, with allegedly the sole objective of using it as a vehicle to park the proceeds of crime.

The BSE listed “company was never engaged in any business activity since inception and the entire money received in the company was quid pro quo from the real estate deal and was used for acquiring land in Coimbatore district,” the ED charged.