Jaipur:The Jaipur Municipal Corporation has taken possession of the two heritage havelis, which were purchased by the former IPL Commissioner Lalit Modi four years ago in the protected Amber Fort area, a senior official said on Thursday.
"The JMC took over the 'Bairathon ki Haveli' and 'Chhabron Ki Haveli', valued over rupees 100 crore yesterday after receiving an order from the state government," additional Superintendent of JMC Lokesh Sonawal said.
He told PTI that enforcement team of JMC sealed both the havelis after asking the guards to leave.
Modi and his wife Minal Modi had purchased the two havelis in 2007 in the name of a company Heritage City Construction private limited and later changed its name to Anand Heritage hotels.
This happened during the tenure of BJP government led by Vasundhara Raje. Congress, which was in opposition then, had persistently raised the issue in the Assembly.
Soon after the Congress came to power, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had ordered a probe into the ownership of the havelis.
The then Jaipur Divisional Commissioner Kiran Soni Gupta, who had conducted an investigation into the allegations, said that the two havelis were government property and had been given heritage status under a 1974 gazette notification.
Ever since the committee under the divisional commissioner recorded its findings on April 9, 2010, the Gehlot government had been mulling action in the matter.
In April this year, a city-based NGO Nagrik Morcha, had also moved a petition before the district and sessions court at Jaipur, alleging that the couple fraudulently purchased the heritage havelis.
The Jaipur collector had written to the government last year about the "illegal purchase" of the havelis by the Modis, sources said.
The government in its order of October 3 this year had directed the JMC to take immediate possession of both havelis, Sonawal said.
Dhariwal told reporters that the action against those who sold off government properties or heritage properties "illegally" will also be brought to book.
"The state government is conducting an enquiry and the people found guilty of selling such property will be punished," Dhariwal said.