Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday came down heavily on prominent builder DS Kulkarni and his wife Hemanti for delaying making arrangement to pay back the investors. The builder and his wife appeared before the judge, Sadhna Jadhav in the Bombay High Court on Tuesday.
The court granted them an interim protection from arrest after they assured they would deposit Rs 50 crore within a fortnight. When the court asked Kulkarni if he had made arrangements to pay back the investors, Kulkarni’s lawyer Ashok Mundargi informed the court a sum of Rs 12 crore has been arranged. The court was also informed that Buldana Urban Multistate Co-operative Credit Society has agreed to loan them Rs 100 crore within a week.
Kulkarni gave his proposal whereby he has been asked to submit relevant papers of his properties which have to be auctioned in order to raise Rs 12 cr. The HC directed the state government to take over these properties and auction them to return the money of thousands of investors.
HC also warned against accepting any more new proposals from Kulkarni. The judge told Kulkarni, “I was expecting you to deposit the Rs 50 crore and have given the applicants over three weeks’ time to deposit. Now I will not accept any more assurance. Your assurances have fallen flat, when you do not have a single penny in your pocket.”
The Public Prosecutor (PP) informed the court, Kulkarni had diverted the money of investors to the bank accounts of his wife Hemanti and son Shirish. Kulkarni has yet again failed to raise Rs 50 crore. The court further observed Kulkarni’s claims of getting money from a Singapore company were false. Jadhav further observed, “This proposal of Buldhana bank should not turn out to be like Prabhune International Company example.”
Prabhune International Company is a Singapore-based company which was expected to transfer Rs 50 crore in Kulkarni’s account, which got delayed.
The HC gave an ultimatum to the state government and Kulkarni to resolve the decision with Buldhana Urban Bank immediately. After listening to the proposal, justice Jadhav directed the state government not to follow up on this proposal till the bank does not show the resolution to the HC.
Kulkarni admitted to the HC that he owes the investors Rs 232 crore. Kulkarni’s advocates presented to justice the proposal sanctioned by Buldhana Urban Bank. The directors approved the decision, which is expected to be passed on Saturday. The court asked officials of Buldhana Urban Bank to send the copy of their resolution to approve this decision to both the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) and the HC.
After listening to all the parties, justice Jadhav informed said that she has gone beyond jurisdiction to address this case. “After duping thousands investors how can Kulkarni sleep well?” observes justice Jadhav.
Kulkarni his wife Hemanti have been booked by the Pune Police last year for allegedly cheating over 2,500 investors to the tune of Rs 230 crore. Cases of cheating were registered by the EOW of Pune after investors complained the Kulkarnis had floated a fixed deposit scheme which had stopped paying them interest and was not returning their principal amount. The matter has been placed for February 22 for final order.