Pune: Fraud Of ₹5.25 Crore By Partner Based On Forged Signatures, Victim Alleges Inaction From Authorities

Pune: Fraud Of ₹5.25 Crore By Partner Based On Forged Signatures, Victim Alleges Inaction From Authorities

Birla alleges that Mahesh Shripad Kotbagi, through the city-based firm Birla-Kotbagi Promoters and Builders, has committed a scam of around ₹5.25 crore. In this case, the District and Sessions Court has ordered the Economic Offenses Branch to arrest Mahesh Kotbagi, rejecting his bail.

Gunwanti ParasteUpdated: Monday, March 04, 2024, 12:44 PM IST
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Pune: City businessman Manik Birla has alleged inaction by the Economic Offence Branch of Pune police even after the court's order in a ₹5.25 crore scam by Mahesh Shripad Kotbagi. He made these allegations in a press conference conducted today.

Birla alleges that Mahesh Shripad Kotbagi, through the city-based firm Birla-Kotbagi Promoters and Builders, has committed a scam of around ₹5.25 crore. In this case, the District and Sessions Court has ordered the Economic Offenses Branch to arrest Mahesh Kotbagi, rejecting his bail.

Addressing the press conference, Manik Birla said, "I am a businessman. My late father Ramchandra Birla had a construction firm named RS Birla Promoters and Builders. He also had a firm called Birla-Gore Associates. My father knew Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi. Dr. Kotbagi's aunt named Sumati Subhedar owned a plot number 69 with an area of 569 Sqm at survey number 19, Share No. 13/8B, CT Serv No. 286/1, Hingane B. Karvenagar, Pune. The next plot to the Subhedar's plot, with an area of 500 sqm is in my name. Then Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi approached my father and asked about developing a scheme on both the plots together. Ramchandra Birla and Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi came together to set up their firm in the name of Birla-Kotbagi Promoters and Builders.”

He further added, “That firm and us entered into a Development Agreement vide Dast No. 3657/2003 dated 23/07/2003. Accordingly, Birla-Kotbagi Promoters and Builders were going to develop our plot. In return, they promised me and Sumati Subhedar an 880 sq. ft. and 90 sq. ft terrace flat. Later, instead of the said flat, I bought four shops and gave the said flat to Sumati Subhedar. Also as per 5177/2003 on 02/07/2003, my father Ramchandra Birla and Dr. Mahesh Kotbagi had a partnership agreement. Since the year 2003, the work of developing the same has been going on. The building named 'Shriram' will be erected in it. A total of 17 flats, 13 shops and 11 flats for economically backward classes were sanctioned in that building. Accordingly, We issued a power of attorney to Birla-Kotbagi Promoters and Builders vide two documents vide 3658/2003 and 3659/2003. Also, we opened accounts for the said firm at Janseva Bank Branch Warje, Pune in August 2004 and at IDBI Bank, Aundh Branch Pune in December 2010.”

As per Birla, Later, his father Ramchandra Birla died on 13/04/2007, after which, as an heir as per the partnership deed, he became a partner.

Adding more he said, “Later we bought another adjacent plot CTS No.286 (B Wing) of 738 sq. m. and started the construction work of the second wing in 2011. For the same, We had issued power of attorney from the firm on 10/05/2011 to Sangeeta Appasaheb Kalmani through Dast No. 4227/2011. In 2013, the work of the first building was completed and the handing over was underway. In the year 2017, the second building was completed, and the occupation work was underway.”

In 2017, Birla found some discrepancies. He said, “I had doubts about the bank account of the firm and when I checked, there were some discrepancies. It included my forged signatures on some agreement to sell, sale deed, deed of apartment, declaration deed and guarantee written by the flat holders of Sriram Apartment's A Wing and B Wing. Also, on the reconstruction plan of the Municipal Corporation dated 2010, it was observed that my father R. S. Birla's signatures were found even though he had died earlier. Also, they have cheated me by making transactions in the accounts of Birla-Kotbagi firm in Janseva Sahakari Bank, Branch Warje and IDBI Bank Aundh branch. When a complaint was filed in the court regarding the clear criminal act, the court pointed out that Sumati Subhedar was given ₹2.53 crore more than the decided amount of ₹1.10 crore."

Also, it was pointed out that the signatures of the Subhedar in the later dates are different than those on the agreement. Although Ramchandra Birla died in 2007, his forged signature on the plan is dated 03/11/2010. Similarly, Manik Birla's signature has also been forged. This is a serious crime, and it is necessary to investigate the root of this financial fraud. In its verdict, the court has given clear orders that this investigation will not be possible without the police custody of the accused. However, even after that, the Financial Offenses Wing police are in contempt of court by refusing to take action against the accused, alleged Mr. Birla

He also stated that the police, even after two months of the FIR on 20 December 2023, have not taken any action. On 21st February 2024, the pre-arrest bail was rejected and the police have been directed to take the accused into custody for further investigation. However, the police have not called the accused yet. There are also 22 other people involved along with Kotbagi. However, they too have not been called for questioning. Kotbagi is free and even active on social media, whereas the complainant is suffering.

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