Bombay HC Dismisses Lalit Tekchandani’s Plea Seeking Quashing Of FIRs In Navi Mumbai Housing Project Scam

Bombay HC Dismisses Lalit Tekchandani’s Plea Seeking Quashing Of FIRs In Navi Mumbai Housing Project Scam

“We are not inclined to grant relief. For reasons to be recorded separately, the petition is dismissed,” a bench of Justices PD Naik and NR Borkar said while rejecting the petition, which also sought clubbing of the FIRs.

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Tuesday, March 05, 2024, 08:52 AM IST
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Lalit Tekchandani | File Photo

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Monday dismissed the petition by builder Lalit Tekchandani seeking quashing of the first information reports (FIRs) registered against him for allegedly duping over 1,700 flat buyers for a housing project in Taloja in Navi Mumbai.

“We are not inclined to grant relief. For reasons to be recorded separately, the petition is dismissed,” a bench of Justices PD Naik and NR Borkar said while rejecting the petition, which also sought clubbing of the FIRs.

While his advocate submitted that the project was well on course till the time of his resignation in 2016, the prosecutor countered saying that the builder took money from flat buyers in 2010 and the project was far from complete.

Seeking clubbing and quashing of the FIRs, Tekchandani claimed that they were related to the same alleged offence. His advocate Taraq Sayed submitted that the first FIR was registered at Chembur police station on January 15, at 23.16 hours. Within minutes, at 23.37 hours, another FIR was registered with the Taloja police.

After filing of the petition, a third FIR was registered with Taloja police. Subsequently, on January 30, the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police took over the probe.

Emphasising that Tekchandani made all efforts to complete the project on time, Sayed said that it was due to the dispute with the original landowner, Narendra Bhalla, the project was stalled. Bhalla filed a petition in the HC, in which the court granted injunction on the construction.

Urging the court to club the FIRs, Sayed said: “Let them (police) investigate. I feel for them (flat buyers) also.”

Tekchandani Purchased Personal Properties, Gave Loans Using Flat Purchasers' Money

Prosecutor Mankunwar Deshmukh, however, opposed the plea saying that the scheme was started in 2010 but till date the project is incomplete. Some 1712 flat purchasers paid Rs 423 crore. Under his directorship investment was made by customers. Also, the money was diverted to other projects and Tekchandani purchased personal properties, gave loans on interests and mortgaged flats promised to the original land owner, Deshmukh added.

Deshmukh further said that they were filed at different police stations and hence had different court jurisdiction and commissionerates.

Advocate Himanshu Kode, appearing for Clan City Welfare Association, which was to be redeveloped, opposed the plea saying that over 1,700 flat buyers have invested their money in 2010 and till date not a single person has been given a flat. “Except false assurances and cheating, nothing is done,” Kode added.

In 2010, a 15 acre land at Rohinjan village was given by one Narendra Bhalla to the directors of the Supreme Constructions and Developers Pvt Ltd. The construction commenced in 2012 and was due to be completed by December 2017.

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