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- Bhagtani family has moved to Dubai despite court orders. Several Riyo investors are now reporting getting threat calls to withdraw the FIRs and case they have filed with EOW. Not only do you lose your money investing with these guys, but, also lose your peace of mind and risk harm to self and loved ones.CommentQuote0Flag
- Look at the list of criminal cases piled up against the Fraudster Bhagtani family. Should serve as a cautionary note to any investors planning to buy flats in any of their projectsCommentQuote0Flag
- For investors, such an unfortunate and bad situation to be in!
When Transferring to another developer Bhagtani will ensure it is at an inflated price so that compensation paid is nothing but illusion.CommentQuote0Flag
- After delay, Powai builder to refund money
A developer who has been in the news for not being able to refund money or handover homes to investors has finally expressed intention to do so. JVPD Properties Private Ltd, who had failed to handover flats to investors for its Mira Road and Powai projects, has given three options to their investors and homebuyers. First, a refund along with an interest at 15 per cent per annum in three years. Second, is to construct apartments with necessary approvals and handover possession of ready apartments, and the final option is to provide homes in projects of other developers.
Few of the aggrieved investors of Powai had even approached the Economic Offences Wing. Seema Saini, one of the affected party who had booked a flat in the developer's project in Powai, said, "An intervention application filed on behalf of Serenity (Powai project) was listed on Wednesday. It was submitted by directors of JVPD, that the company intends to file scheme before National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) under the provisions of Companies Act, 2013 proposing a scheme giving three options to the homebuyers."
She further said, "There is no immediate favourable order from the homebuyers perspective. There is still no clarity on several issues." According to another affected party, certain investors were given money up to Rs 50,000. Diipesh Bhagtani, director, JVPD Properties Private Ltd, said, "The matter was heard before the Bombay High Court, where we have informed the court that we are in the process of filing the scheme for an arrangement with investors before NCLT. Also, since the last High Court order we have refunded full and part payments to 100 plus investors. I wouldn't like to comment further as the matter is sub judice and we are waiting for an authenticated copy of the order passed by the High Court."
- Builder has issued some investors only Rs. 50,000 to show the court that he has refunded investors. He has also falsified numbers to the court of number of investors who have gotten their refunds.
He claims that he is unable to locate and get bank account details of the rest of the investors. Such a fraud of a builderCommentQuote0Flag
THREE TOP BUILDERS’ ASSETS, LIABILITIES TO BE PROBED BY STATE
The decision was taken by Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil, who last night met with the aggrieved flat buyers.
In a move that could change the dynamics of the real estate business in Maharashtra, the state government on Wednesday night decided to examine assets and liabilities of three top builders against whom there has been a spate of complaints by the home buyers. In a meeting attended by the Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil, officers of Mumbai, Thane, and Pune Police, and home buyers from three stalled projects – one in Mumbai and two in Pune – it was decided that the state government will take co-ordinated action against developers who fail to deliver property possession as promised. The developers who will be probed are Bhagtanis of Jaycee Homes Ltd, the DSK Group, and Temple Rose Group, against whom several home buyers have lodged complaints of cheating in Mumbai, Thane, and Pune.
The meeting was facilitated by BJP Member of Parliament Kirit Somaiya, who said the complaints against the builders were discussed in detail. “It was decided that there should be a single agency coordinating the action. Hence, the Pune Police will be the nodal agency for DSK Group as majority of complaints against DSK are filed in Pune. Similarly, Mumbai and Thane police are probing complaints against Bhagtani developers but Mumbai Police will work as the nodal agency. In the Temple Rose case, Mumbai and Pune police will jointly probe the complaints,” Somaiya said.
The police have been investigating complaints against the DSK Group, headed by Punebased realtor DS Kulkarni. The group has been accused of accepting investments and fixed deposits from home buyers, besides availing 27 secured loans from banks and financial institutions. A Pune-based RTI activist, Vijay Kumbhar, who exposed the alleged fraud, estimates the liabilities of DSK Group at Rs 5,400 crore, including fixed deposits from public worth Rs 1,000 crore, and Rs 815 crore as investments from home buyers.
Similarly, the Economic Offences Wing of the Mumbai Police has taken over the probe against Jaycee Homes, Diipesh Bhagtani, and his family members. At least four FIRs have been lodged by home buyers who invested in Riyo project in Mira Road, Sapphire in Dahisar, Serenity in Powai, and Savannah in Kanjurmarg.
Hearing in the anticipatory bail application moved by Bhagtani, one of the two directors in group company JVPD Properties, before Justice AM Badar of the Bombay High Court was adjourned on Tuesday to February 2. When the hearing began, Justice Badar recused himself and said, “Not before me”.
In case of the Temple Rose Group, the Pune Police’s Economic Offences Wing is probing allegations of the developer tricking people into buying and selling the same plot twice — first as non-agriculture (NA) plot and then as agricultural land — through a group company.
The alleged scam is estimated to be of Rs 400 crore and involves over 12,000 investors. Devidas Sajnani, his wife Vanita, and daughter Deepa are promoters of the group.
When contacted, Bhagtani said, “We are not aware of any such meeting. If any clarification is required by any government agency, we will cooperate. We have already filed a scheme with the National Company Law Tribunal to secure our investors and creditors.”
While the officials of DSK Group and Temple Rose Group were not available for comment, Somaiya told Mumbai Mirror that the government has sought help from the Law & Judiciary Department, and ensure experienced lawyers represent the home buyers in court. “It has been agreed upon that an appropriate agency will be appointed to assess the assets and liabilities of these developers. Under the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositions Act, the deputy collector is the right office.”CommentQuote0Flag
- 55 Bhagtani Riyo Victims at National Park Meet Sign Open Letter to Chief Justice
Mumbai, 6th November, 2017: About 60 victims of Bhagtani builder's Riyo project gathered yesterday (Sunday) at Sanjay Gandhi National Park at Borivali East, to discuss and debate about the way forward in their legal battle for criminal prosecution of Bhagtani and recovery of their money. Many topics were discussed, including approaching various agencies and seeking advice from legal experts. Also, an open letter addressed to Chief Justice Manjula Chellur was signed by 55 aggrieved persons who are intervenors in Anticipatory Bail Application (ABA) hearings being heard by Justice A M Badar. The letter raises serious concerns about Justice Badar's leniency and dubious orders.
This gathering of cheated flat-buyers signed an open letter to Chief Justice Manjula Chellur, complaining about Justice A M Badar's dubious orders favouring Bhagtani builders.
The signed letter will be dispatched by speedpost later today. Several others, including Chief Justice of India and Law Ministers at the state and center, and advocate general of Maharashtra, have been marked a copy of this letter.
Many aggrieved flat-buyers who were unable to attend the meeting, have said that they will download and send the letter separately in their own name. This word file is for their use.
- CHEAT DEVELOPER IS NOW ACCUSED OF CONSTRUCTING ILLEGAL TOWER IN COP COLONY
Left: Bhagtani Solitaire on Plot Number 19, inside Police Officers Progressive CHS, Versova; Right: Residents have put up a board saying Bhagtani Solitaire is 'illegal'; Diipesh Bhagtani, and (r) his father Lakshman, who purchased the plot in 2010. PICS: SATYAJIT DESAI
HC scheduled to hear the case on Thursday
The Bhagtanis, already facing ire of many flat buyers, violated laws to build the structure at Police Officers Progressive CHS in Versova, say residents. Builder says all permissions in place
While the Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW) is probing a spate of complaints against real estate firm Jaycee Homes and its promoters Lakshman Bhagtani and his son Diipesh, the Bombay High Court is scheduled to hear on Thursday a petition wherein Lakshman Bhagtani is accused of fraud inside a police colony.
The petition has been filed by the residents of Police Officers Progressive CHS, located on Yari Road in Versova. The residents have alleged that Bhagtani constructed a ground-plus-seven storey building called Bhagtani Solitaire within the society premises "in collusion with a few BMC officers" even as the society laws allowed only "bungalow- type" residential units.
Residents said they have been attempting to draw the BMC's attention to the anomaly from the time Bhagtani started construction in 2010, but no action has been taken.
Bhagtanis have been on the police radar for several months now, after several investors from his housing projects such as Sapphire in Dahisar, Serenity in Powai, Riyo in Mira Road, Horizon from Goregaon, Savannah from Kanjurmarg and Executive from Ghatkopar alleged they haven't received their flats.
Police Officers Progressive CHS was constructed in the 1960s, when 30 police officers came together to purchase a seven-acre plot off Seven Bungalows in Versova. The sanctioned plan said the society will accommodate 29 bungalows, two gardens, and an internal road.
Over the years, around eight members of the society constructed four to six-storey buildings and sold the apartments to outsiders, resulting in these buildings also becoming a part of Police Officers Progressive CHS.
Alarmed by the rampant development and realising more members could construct similar structures, the society in 2006 amended its bye-laws. "The amended bye-laws permit the member to construct his/residence house on the allotted plot, and disallows construction of flats for sale to non-members," the society chairman, RJ Mangurdekar, said. "The amendments were approved by the deputy registrar of co-operative societies of the K Ward in October 2006," he added.
BHAGTANI ENTERS THE SOCIETY
Residents say that Bhagtani purchased a plot (plot number 19) from a member named Milind Adkar in 2010, after which he submitted three plans to the managing committee saying he wanted to construct towers there. "The three plans were rejected. On July 3, 2011, Bhagtani submitted an affidavit stating he intended to develop the plot for the sole purpose of residing there," Mangurdekar said.
The petition said Bhagtani submitted a fresh plan for a seven- storey building by loading Transfer of Development Rights (TDR) and fungible FSI to the BMC's Building Proposals Department, and ignoring complaints by the society, the BMC's executive engineer approved the plan on October 22, 2012, and a commencement certificate was issued a day later.
With society objecting to the construction, Bhagtani moved the co-operative court which directed the society to move the city civil court or the high court.
In March 2013, 18 members of the society expelled Bhagtani from the society membership and the society filed a writ petition in the high court.
Residents' petition said the society obtained documents under the Right to Information Act which showed that even before he was made a member of the society, Bhagtani had submitted construction plans directly to the BMC on May 21, 2010, and had received commencement certificate on October 25, 2010.
Diipesh Bhagtani has denied his father violated any rules. "After purchasing the plot, we made sure to get a no-objection certificate from the society for transfer of development rights as well as construction. The society already had a few buildings and not all of them are bungalows. Despite all permissions in place, some residents tried to stop us from construction but we have taken an order from the co-operative court and started work under police protection," he said.
"Some members of the society think they are above law. We have also filed two contempt proceedings against them which are pending in the court. There is no cheating and it's simply an armtwisting tactic by the society to extort money," Bhagtani alleged.
Asked why Bhagtani Solitaire did not have water connection despite getting an occupation certificate, he said, "Bhagtani Solitaire is a completed project of ours. We had 14 flats and all of them have been sold. We also received the occupation certificate in September 2016. The BMC's Law Department has cleared the file for the occupation certificate to be issued and has stated that all compliances have been taken care of. The water connection will be provided soon."
- HC orders builder to refund home buyers
Will vacate pre-arrest interim protection if there's no compliance, court tells Bhagtanis.
The Bombay High Court on Thursday came to the rescue of thousands of home buyers, who have their hard-earned money in housing projects promoted by Diipesh Bhagtani and his father Lakshman Bhagtani of JVPD Properties, when it told the developer in no uncertain terms that he should refund the money taken from investors in Bhagtani Riyo in Mira Road and Bhagtani Serenity in Powai with immediate effect or the court will vacate the pre-arrest interim protection he has been enjoying since September.
After Justice AM Badar recused himself from hearing the two anticipatory bail pleas filed by Diipesh Bhagtani on November 15, the matter came up for hearing before Justice Anuja Prabhudesai on Thursday. After hearing senior advocates Mahesh Jethmalani and Ashok Mundargi, who appeared for Bhagtani in Serenity and Riyo anticipatory bail pleas, as well as advocates Devendra Tripathi and Shraddha Dubepatil appearing for the home buyers, Justice Prabhudesai directed the developer to convene a joint meeting of Serenity and Riyo investors on December 16 to discuss the settlement terms and timelines of how he will refund their investments. She also directed that the minutes of the meeting should be filed before the court at the next hearing on December 18.
Justice Prabhudesai also directed that Bhagtani to refund the money to Riyo investors with applicable 15 per cent interest as promised in the allotment letter, while he should offer Serenity investors either in Serenity or an alternate flat or refund their money with applicable interest. She also observed that if the meeting on December 16 fails for any reason, the bail granted to Bhagtani would be vacated. After hearing both the parties, Justice Prabhudesai observed that the plot for Riyo project is gurcharan land (grazing land) and therefore the developer should not have collected money from investors. She said collection of money without adequate approvals is a bad practice and makes it 'a clear cut cheating case'.
The Riyo project is not a workable scheme anymore, unless fresh approvals are sought from competent authorities, and till that happens, Bhagtani developer can't hold the money and therefore he should refund the same without any further delay, she said.
The court also observed that Bhagtani has been enjoying the bail granted by the High Court in anticipatory bail application 1533 (Riyo) on the basis of the undertaking to refund investors, but despite the undertaking given, he has not made payments to the investors since the September 1 order.
Diipesh Bhagtani had filed an affidavit stating that he would deposit Rs 22 crore in six equal instalments, when Justice Revati Mohite Dere was hearing the matter. After the assignments were changed, and the matter came before Justice AM Badar, Bhagtani had told the court on November 1 that he planned to move the National Company Law Tribunal under section 230 with prayers to return money with interest to buyers who do not wish to continue in his projects and give possession to buyers who wish to continue or shift them to alternative projects by other builders.
The development came as a huge relief to nearly 1,600 home buyers, including 400 from Serenity and 1,200 from Riyo, who had pinned their hopes on the High Court intervention. "I am truly elated seeing justice reaching the victims and a cheat being nailed. Bhagtani convinced me to pay 100% of the flat cost with taxes and thereafter he has cheated us for four years. Today's developments have once again shown that justice can be delayed but cannot be denied," said aviation expert Vipul Saxena who has paid Rs one crore in a flat in Serenity.
- Open Letter to Maharashtra CM: Why are Bhagtani builders still roaming free & enjoying life?
Mumbai, 3rd December, 2017: An open Letter signed by 267 Bhagtani victims from various projects, was dispatched by Speedpost yesterday. The letter demanded to know why there was a inaction from the law-enforcement agencies despite Dipesh, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani cheating thousands of home buyers. The letter demanded to know why Bhagtani builders were still roaming free & enjoying life? Why hadn't they been taken into judicial custody and interrogated already? Why weren't their passports impounded yet? This letter, with signatures, was sent to Chief Minister, Home Minister, Police Commissioner, Advocate General and MP Kirit Somaiya. Many victims worked patiently for many days to gather the 267 signatures from all over Mumbai, especially Kavita Doke (Dadar), Karunesh Nishesh (Mira Road), Ashok Palo (Powai), Dr John Paul (Dahisar), Dolly Sheth (Mulund) and Paresh Karia (Goregaon). Meanwhile, many NRI victims of Bhagtani, such as Mahesh Adhate, Suma Guha and Sarang Apte signed and sent the letter directly in their individual capacity from Canada, Middle East, etc. Click here to read the letter with its signatures. Text of this open letter is reproduced below: 25th November, 2017 Sub: Why are Bhagtani builders still roaming free & enjoying life? Why aren't they being interrogated in judicial custody? Why aren't their passports impounded yet? Dear Sirs, We, the undersigned, are cheated flat-purchasers of Bhagtani builders. More than 2000 flat-buyers like us booked flats in their projects including Riyo in Mira Road, Sapphire in Dahisar, Serenity and Krishaang in Powai, and Savannah in Kanjurmarg. Diipesh, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani collected booking amounts between Rs 8 lakhs and Rs 80 lakhs per flat. Now, After collecting Rs 600 crore from our life-savings, they are neither delivering the flats, nor returning our money. They claim that they have no money at all. Our dreams of buying our own house in Mumbai have been shattered. The State Government is well aware of all this. A month ago, thanks to the efforts of Dr Kirit Somaiya, MP, Economic Offence Wing (EOW) announced that a Special Investigation Team was being set up. A week ago, Minister of State for Home Shri Ranjit Patil announced that government would probe the assets and liabilities of Bhagtanis. But, despite these announcement, Bhagtanis are still continuing to enjoy life, dine at 5-star hotels and fly to Dubai, London, etc at our expense. Sir, why is there so much delay? Why haven't the three Bhagtanis been arrested already? Why haven't they been intensively interrogated in police custody and judicial custody? Why aren't their passports impounded? Why aren't their books of accounts seized so far? Is the government waiting for the Bhagtanis to settle abroad like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi and enjoy our money at leisure? Otherwise, why the delay and inaction? Many money-laundering techniques are being employed to divert their ill-gotten wealth into unrelated bank accounts in India and abroad. The Bhagtani family is in an advanced stage of settling abroad. There are at least six FIRs currently registered against Bhagtani builders for cheating and fraud. Sessions Court has repeatedly refused bail to them, but they are buying time by approaching high court and appointing high-powered senior counsels. The public prosecutors are not strongly arguing for arrest and travel restrictions. Some High Court judges appear to be protecting Bhagtanis by giving lenient orders. This judicial drama has been going on for the past three months. Sir, please end this drama by taking swift action to prevent the Bhagtanis from settling abroad with their ill-gotten wealth. Otherwise, the BJP government at state and centre will be exposed to public ridicule. We believe in your good intentions; please take firm actions to uphold our belief. Thanking you in advance, Yours sincerely, SOME OF BHAGTANI'S 2000-PLUS VICTIMS
Mumbai, 3rd December, 2017: An open Letter signed by 267 Bhagtani victims from various projects, was dispatched by Speedpost yesterday. The letter demanded to know why there was a inaction from the law-enforcement agencies despite Dipesh, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani cheating thousands of home buyers. The letter demanded to know why Bhagtani builders were still roaming free & enjoying life? Why hadn't they been taken into judicial custody and interrogated already? Why weren't their passports impounded yet?
This letter, with signatures, was sent to Chief Minister, Home Minister, Police Commissioner, Advocate General and MP Kirit Somaiya. Many victims worked patiently for many days to gather the 267 signatures from all over Mumbai, especially Kavita Doke (Dadar), Karunesh Nishesh (Mira Road), Ashok Palo (Powai), Dr John Paul (Dahisar), Dolly Sheth (Mulund) and Paresh Karia (Goregaon).
Meanwhile, many NRI victims of Bhagtani, such as Mahesh Adhate, Suma Guha and Sarang Apte signed and sent the letter directly in their individual capacity from Canada, Middle East, etc.
Click here to read the letter with its signatures.
Text of this open letter is reproduced below:
25th November, 2017
Sub: Why are Bhagtani builders still roaming free & enjoying life?
Why aren't they being interrogated in judicial custody?
Why aren't their passports impounded yet?
We, the undersigned, are cheated flat-purchasers of Bhagtani builders. More than 2000 flat-buyers like us booked flats in their projects including Riyo in Mira Road, Sapphire in Dahisar, Serenity and Krishaang in Powai, and Savannah in Kanjurmarg. Diipesh, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani collected booking amounts between Rs 8 lakhs and Rs 80 lakhs per flat. Now, After collecting Rs 600 crore from our life-savings, they are neither delivering the flats, nor returning our money. They claim that they have no money at all. Our dreams of buying our own house in Mumbai have been shattered.
The State Government is well aware of all this. A month ago, thanks to the efforts of Dr Kirit Somaiya, MP, Economic Offence Wing (EOW) announced that a Special Investigation Team was being set up. A week ago, Minister of State for Home Shri Ranjit Patil announced that government would probe the assets and liabilities of Bhagtanis. But, despite these announcement, Bhagtanis are still continuing to enjoy life, dine at 5-star hotels and fly to Dubai, London, etc at our expense. Sir, why is there so much delay? Why haven't the three Bhagtanis been arrested already? Why haven't they been intensively interrogated in police custody and judicial custody? Why aren't their passports impounded?Why aren't their books of accounts seized so far?
Is the government waiting for the Bhagtanis to settle abroad like Vijay Mallya and Lalit Modi and enjoy our money at leisure? Otherwise, why the delay and inaction?
Many money-laundering techniques are being employed to divert their ill-gotten wealth into unrelated bank accounts in India and abroad. The Bhagtani family is in an advanced stage of settling abroad.
There are at least six FIRs currently registered against Bhagtani builders for cheating and fraud. Sessions Court has repeatedly refused bail to them, but they are buying time by approaching high court and appointing high-powered senior counsels. The public prosecutors are not strongly arguing for arrest and travel restrictions. Some High Court judges appear to be protecting Bhagtanis by giving lenient orders. This judicial drama has been going on for the past three months.
Sir, please end this drama by taking swift action to prevent the Bhagtanis from settling abroad with their ill-gotten wealth. Otherwise, the BJP government at state and centre will be exposed to public ridicule. We believe in your good intentions; please take firm actions to uphold our belief.
Thanking you in advance,
SOME OF BHAGTANI'S 2000-PLUS VICTIMS
- Homebuyers seek Maha CM help to get money back
Nearly 267 affected home buyers of Jaycee Homes alia JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd have signed a letter seeking help from the chief minister in getting their money back. The residents are from various projects of the developer, located in Powai, Mira Road, and Kanjurmarg. The letter was sent via speedpost to the CM Devendra Fadnavis on Saturday. The developer on the other hand says that he’s not fleeing the country as court has already asked them to seek its permission if they travel.Diipesh Bhagtani, Director, JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd, said, “The matter is pending before the High Court and sessions court. The high court in one of their orders has already mentioned that if we travel it has to be with the permission of the court. We are a 52-year-old company and we are looking to settle the claims against us. The court has also directed us to have a meeting with all the investors on December 16, and submit the minutes of the meeting in the next hearing.” The letter demanded to know, why Bhagtani builders (Jaycee) were still roaming free and enjoying life, why had not they been taken into judicial custody, and interrogated already?
- Bhagtanis to liquidate company assets to pay off home buyers
In a meeting, Diipesh Bhagtani told buyers he would liquidate his personal assets too if unable to refund their money by June 30
There may finally be some good news for thousands of home buyers who have invested their hard-earned money in housing projects promoted by Diipesh Bhagtani and his father Lakshman Bhagtani of JVPD Properties Ltd. But only if the Bhagtanis keep their word.
JVPD Properties Ltd Director Diipesh Bhagtani, on Saturday, promised more than 500 home buyers from four housing projects that he will refund their money by June 30 next year by liquidating the companys assets.
Following Bombay High Courts orders, Bhagtani held the four-hour meeting with buyers who have invested in Bhagtani Riyo (Mira Road), Bhagtani Serenity (Powai), Bhagtani Savannah (Kanjurmarg) and Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar) at Rangsharda Auditorium in Bandra on Saturday.
At the last hearing, Justice Anuja Prabhudesai had directed the Bhagtanis to hold a meeting with the buyers and discuss a time-bound plan to either refund their money with15 per cent interest or shift them to alternative flats in non-Bhagtani projects. She had also said that if he does not refund the money, she would not hesitate to vacate his interim pre-arrest protection. Saturdays meeting saw a huge response from home buyers who have invested sums ranging from Rs 7 lakh to Rs one crore in these four projects that are yet to see the light of day. At the meeting, Bhagtani highlighted his companys liquidity crunch and told buyers that he was not in a position to refund the money immediately but will sell the company assets to fulfill his liabilities.
In a slide presentation, Bhagtani claimed that he had assets worth Rs 570 crore and pegged his liabilities at Rs 410 crore excluding the interest.
He assured them that if the sale of his assets couldnt fulfill his debt, he would liquidate other assets including his personal ones.
In the meeting, he agreed to share the list of properties belonging to three of their construction companies, details of his personal assets, and a full list of buyers with the exact sum he needs to refund with interest.
A battery of lawyers who represented home buyers including Devendra Nath Tripathi, Shraddha Dubepatil, Vivek Singh, Dinesh Rane, Ankur Pahade, Jayesh Mistry, Gunjan Choubey, AR Shaikh, and Asif Naqvi signed the mutually agreed minutes.
Diipesh Bhagtani at the meeting in BandraCommentQuote0Flag
- High Court directs Bhagtanis to deposit passports by Dec 25 Court asks developer to deposit Rs 100 cr by Jan 11 or settle case with buyers The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed Jaycee Homes Ltd partner Diipesh Bhagtani, his father Lakshman Bhagtani and brother Mukesh Bhagtani to surrender their passports with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) by December 25, and gave them an ultimatum to deposit Rs 100 crore or 25 per cent of their total liability with the court by January 11.
In the last hearing on Monday, Justice AS Gadkari had asked the Bhagtanis to deposit at least 25 per cent of what they owe to an estimated 2,500 home buyers with the court, and submit lists of their properties and how much they owed to buyers on Wednesday.
According to his affidavit, 554 buyers had invested in Riyo Phase I, and 608 had invested in Phase II. He collected Rs116.39 crore from1,162 investors, the affidavit said. In Serenity project in Powai, 389 buyers had invested and his total outstanding stood at Rs 118.26 crore. In Savannah project in Kanjurmarg, 725 buyers had invested, and he pegged his total outstandings at Rs 147.38 crore. In Sapphire in Dahisar, his total outstandings were Rs 45.61crore from 312 buyers. He said his outstandings to 2,588 homebuyers in all four projects stood at Rs 427.65 crore. He also claimed without giving specifics that he had refunded Rs 84 crore to buyers earlier, and Rs 2.07 crore during the court proceedings.Accordingly, Diipesh Bhagtani filed an 80-page affidavit with the court giving details of his properties and revealing for the first time the full list of buyers and the money he had accepted from them.
The court then sought to know how much money they could deposit with the court. When senior counsel Mahesh Jethmalani appearing for Bhagtani explained to the court that his client was facing a severe liquidity crunch and he could not pay upfront, the court expressed its displeasure. Jethmalani argued that the list of properties submitted to the court were valued much more than the liabilities. However, the court remained unimpressed by the argument, and asked Bhagtani to remain present before the court at 1.45 pm.
Jethmalani later told the court that Bhagtani could not remain present but as per instructions from his client, he was ready to honour his previous commitment and deposit a sum of Rs 20 crore in two instalments of Rs 10 crore each. He said out of Rs 22 crore, Rs 2.07 crore were already deposited in the court, and the remaining would be deposited after the court reopens following the winter vacation.
The court was not satisfied with the submission and said, “You are just buying time.” He then said he had the option of asking the Economic Offences Wing to attach the properties and insisted that Bhagtanis deposit a substantial sum of Rs 100 crore by January 11. Justice Gadkari said he would keep the matter for final hearing on January 11 and gave the option of settlement with the buyers before that hearing.
Earlier, counsel Nitin Pradhan, who appeared for home buyers, had requested the court to impound the passports of Bhagtani. Justice Gadkari then asked all the three Bhagtanis to deposit their passports with the EOW investigating officer.
When Jethmalani revealed that Lakshman Bhagtani and Mukesh Bhagtani were outside India, Justice Gadkari looked visibly upset and demanded to know how they could travel despite Justice AM Badar’s order that they need court’s permission before they travel abroad. He then directed all three Bhagtanis to surrender their passport by December 25.
Case history July 8: First of the four FIRs under section 420 lodged against Lakshman Bhagtani and his sons Diipesh and Mukesh Bhagtani for allegedly cheating home buyers in Riyo project.
Aug 23: Diipesh Bhagtani files anticipatory bail application seeking interim protection from arrest till
August 28. Justice Revati Mohite Dere grants interim protection.
Sept 15: Justice Revati Mohite Dere asks Bhagtanis to refund the home buyers their money.
Sept 29: Bhagtanis tells the court that they will deposit Rs 22 crore and the first instalment would be deposited on or before
October 12 Oct 3: High Court assignments change and matter comes up before Justice AM Badar. Diipesh Bhagtani files affidavit that he is ready to deposit Rs 22 crore in six equal instalments.
Oct12: Justice Badar directs that if Bhagtanis have to travel abroad, they could do so with the permission of the court.
Nov 1: Bhagtanis tell the court that they plan to move the National Company Law Tribunal with proposals to refund buyers’ money
Nov 15: The government steps in. Minister of State for Home Ranjit Patil says they will assess the assets and liabilities of three developers, DSK Group, Jaycee Homes Ltd and Temple Rose group. Justice AM Badar recuses himself from hearing the matter.
Nov 30: The matter comes up before Justice Anuja Prabhudesai. She warns Bhagtanis that the court will vacate the interim protection unless they refund the money, asks him meet buyers on December 16 and report to the court on December 18.
Dec16: Diipesh Bhagtani reassures more than 500 buyers that he will liquidate his assets and refund their money. He claims he has assets worth Rs 570 crore and liabilities worth Rs 410 crore.
Dec18: The HC assignments change and the matter comes up before Justice AS Gadkari. He asks Bhagtanis to at least deposit 25 per cent of the total outstanding dues
Dec 20: Justice Gadkari asks Bhagtanis should deposit 25 per cent or Rs 100 crore by January 11 and directs all three Bhagtanis to surrender their passports to the police by December 25.
- Some of the investors from our group spoke with Mukesh and his Father recently through a Bhagtani employee who is still in touch with the duo. Not much came out of the phone call, but, it appeared that the Bhagtanis were in the process of moving their base our of Dubai after the recent string of court verdicts against them as they fear extradition.
The employee mentioned that they had been offered asylum in Pakistan through ISI contacts that Lakshman Bhagtani had worked with in the past on his fake rupee printing scams several decades ago. The Bhagtanis had bought some property in the outskirts of Karachi and would be moving there in the summer making it impossible for Indian authorities to get to them.CommentQuote0Flag
I also invested my hard-earned money in the Jaycee Homes project in 2011.So,I want to know that what can be done to get my money back at the earliest .What is the official forum where all the buyers are together in this reagard?
I am very concerned about this matter.
Kindly let me know if anyone can suggest something in this regard.CommentQuote0Flag