Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar Cabinet decision to drop Anti-Corruption Bureau cases at the senior Congress leaders in the Special Economic Zones (SEZ) scam in Goa led me to dig deeper into the scam which GoaChronicle.com had extensively in 2010 and interestingly in the research of the GC Team we found an interesting connection to the SEZ scam – Jaydev Mody – more popularly known as the Casino Moghul in Goa with his company Delta Corp and its brand Deltin Casinos.
Of the five companies allegedly involved in the SEZ scam through acts of alleged commission and omission on part of the former Congress Ministers and current MLAs Pratapsingh Rane, Luizinho Faleiro, Alexio Sequeira and current Leader of Opposition Chandrakant (Babu) Kavlekar who was then the GIDC chairman; three companies had Jaydev Mody as one of the Promoter/Director – Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd Inox Mercantile Pvt Ltd and Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd along with Rajiv Piramal.
Delta Corp is promoted by Jaydev Mody, an eminent and successful Indian entrepreneur and erstwhile Managing Director of Peninsula Land Limited (PLL) (promoted by the Ashok Piramal Group).
In addition, Mody has also been instrumental in setting up the Ashok Piramal group’s real estate and retail business comprising of PLL and Pyramid Retail Limited (PRL) and is on the board of PLL and PRL.
In the SEZ Land Allotment application for Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd, Inox Mercantile Pvt Ltd and Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd in the promoters/directors section Jaydev Mody and Rajiv Piramal are listed as promoters/directors of the company. In fact Planetview Mercantile Pvt Ltd was not even a registered company during the time of the allotment as per regulations stipulated by GIDC. Rajiv Piramal is also the Director on the board of Delta Corp. Zia Mody, Promoter of Delta Corp (wife of Jaydev Mody) is the Co-founder of AZB partners, one of the legal firms for the reliance industries.
Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd was allotted 20.36 hectares land at Sancoale. Since this was not an Industrial Estate, the GIDC used an approved formula for calculating the premium. Using the premium rates, the price for the property in Sancoale worked out to Rs 934.20 per sqmt. However when executing the lease deeds in March/April 2006 the GIDC charged Peninsula Pharma Research Centre Pvt Ltd a premium of Rs 270 per sqmts only. The lack of infrastructure and ‘sloppy nature’ of the land in case of Peninsula were cited as reasons for charging lower premiums.
Delta Corp along with its subsidiaries currently operates in the following lines of business: Entertainment and gaming business, Real Estate business, Real estate consultancy services, Real estate development in Kenya and Hospitality business.
In order to tap the opportunity available in the hospitality sector, Delta Corp has formed a joint venture with Peninsula Land limited i.e. PLL Delta Hotel Limited (PLLDHL). Going forward, PLLDHL intends to develop 3/4 star 100 bed hotels in various urban locations in India primarily in Southern and Western India.
Delta Corp also own 34.9 per cent equity share capital in the Advani Hotels & Resorts (India) Limited – thereby further enhancing their foray into the hospitality business with the Ramada Caravela Beach Resort.
That Parrikar aggression towards the casinos business died down is one of his many U-Turns as a Chief Minister of Goa. The SEZ scam too is now seeming to be another one of his U-Turn with his government dropping the cases against the accused Congress leaders. The action of Parrikar to act as though the SEZ scam never happened is similar to his stand on illegal mining which he later termed as ‘irregular mining’. And with his closeness to Jaydev Mody being reported in media many times, it is not surprise that Mody also features in the SEZ scam allegations and now at the receiving end of some of the Rs 236 crore which the government of Goa has to pay the developers of the SEZ as per the court orders.