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ICAI chief in the dock for Rs 100cr land deal
November, 26th 2012

A land deal worth Rs 100 crore involving the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India ( ICAI) has landed its president Jayadeep Narendra Shah in a spot. Shah,a native of Nagpur, signed a deal for purchasing a 9 acre plot in that city for setting up a study centre of the institute. It is alleged that the deal was finalized keeping ICAI's central council members in the dark.

The land,said to be valued at Rs 80 crore, has been registered after paying a nominal advance to the owner. In all, the institute has spent Rs 10 crore so far, including the registration fee and stamp duty.

The members allege the land is heavily overpriced and people involved have taken huge cuts. ICAI's central council, in its meeting on October 15, set up a committee to investigate the deal. The price paid for the land is several times higher than the prevailing market rate. Out of the Rs 100 crore, nearly 80% is for the land and the rest for the building. As the registration has already been done, even if the central council refuses to ratify the deal, Rs 10 crore cannot be recovered, said a member on condition of anonymity.

The land deal was finalized and registered between July 13 and August 3 and it was only after members from Nagpur informed the institute about the land deal did the central council members come to know of it, he said. Though Shah confirmed the deal, he denied the allegations. Speaking to TOI, Shah said, "A committee has been appointed to probe all land deals from 2004 onwards. The truth will come when the report is submitted. I was not in the country. I wish to comment only after the committee has submitted its report."

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