Builder Haresh Mehta denied pre-arrest bail in Rs 8 crore cheating case

A sessions court recently denied anticipatory bail to a developer in a cheating case in which he had allegedly received a total of Rs. 8.16 crore from three persons and had not begun construction, even seven years after the project was due to be finished, nor did he returned their money.

The court said in its order rejecting his plea that it prima-facie appears that since the inception, the applicant had the intention to cheat the informant and his brothers and thereby induced them to invest in the project. It noted that an amount of Rs. 8.16 crore was paid to the applicant and he had not carried out the development project but had gained wrongfully, causing wrongful loss to the informant.

Additional Sessions Judge Sanjay N. Yadav said further that it is clear the accused had the intention to misappropriate the amount. Calling the offence serious, it said it needs to be investigated thoroughly and his custodial interrogation is necessary.

As per the complaint filed with the Economic Offences Wing, Harresh Mehta of Rohan Lifespaces had received an amount of Rs. 8.16 crore from the informant and his brothers for flats in 2009-2010 and the flats were not provided, not the amount returned. The project was to complete in 2013 and the court observed that even the construction had not begun, even after ten years. The FIR had said further that in 2016, there was a notice in a newspaper that the particular property which was to be redeveloped for the project, was about to be mortgaged. The complainants had objected to its mortgage. Regarding this the court said, “The notice creates doubt regarding the intention of the applicants to develop the property involved in the offence.”

The 65-year-old in his anticipatory bail plea had told the court that the construction of the project could not commence due to want of permissions from required authorities. The investment of the complainants was as investors and there was no deception on his part, he had said.

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