Mumbai: The economic offences wing (EOW) has arrested a businessman in a Rs 25-crore cheating case. Ashish Shah, along with Darayus Panthakey, a partner in optical firm Phiroze M Dastoor & Co, allegedly conspired to sell a 1,000-acre plot to a developer without possessing it.
Panthakey, Shah’s wife Aparna and their associate Niam-ul-Haque will be summoned for interrogation, said investigators. They have been booked under the Indian Penal Code for cheating, forgery and counterfeiting government stamps. Shah was produced at the Esplanade court on Friday and remanded in police custody till December 18.
The complainant, Rajendra Bajaria, deputy general manager of Sheth Developers, told the police that in 2008 the company (Sheth) was looking for land to develop a township near Panvel. “We came in touch with the Shahs through a real estate broker. Shah called us at Panthakey’s Santacruz office. During the meeting, Shah claimed that he had 200 acres spread across villages near Panvel. He said he had acquired the land by deed of conveyance, MoU, consent letters, power of attorney, etc,” said Bajaria in his FIR.
“Shah claimed his party was in the process of acquiring 600 to 800 acres more and offered to jointly develop the land with us,” Bajaria said.
As per the FIR, Panthakey promised to take responsibility if any defect or problem arose in the title of the land. Bajaria’s firm paid Rs 25 crore as token money. But while inspecting documents, his company found that the Shahs did not have full rights over the land. “At that time the Shahs and Panthakey promised to refund the token amount,” said Bajaria in the FIR. The Shahs issued a cheque, which bounced.
“They knew that if they did not deposit the money as per court direction, their properties would be attached. So, they created third-party rights in favor of Haque. We suspect that Panthakey got counterfeit stamp papers and gave them to the Shahs for fabricating the deed of conveyance,” said a police officer.
The Times of India, December 14, 2013