After mid-day's report that a gemologist was forced to cough up Rs 3 lakh for cheating a customer with lucky gem stones, it has emerged that several of his 50 stores are illegal
Suwarnsparsh has 35 branches in Mumbai alone. Pic/Datta Kumbhar
A day after mid-day highlighted how the Suwarnsparsh jewellery store duped a senior citizen by selling him 'lucky gemstones', it now turns out that the company has proved unlucky for many others. Several shop owners have now revealed that the company is illegally occupying their properties without any contract or rent payments.
Niranjan Vaidya stands outside the Borivali shop he has leased out to Suwarnsparsh. He has not been paid rent in three months, and the accused won’t vacate the premises either. Pic/Nimesh Dave
On reading mid-day's front-page report on Thursday, many landlords called this paper to disclose how the Suwarnsparsh owner had hijacked their shops, refusing to pay rent or vacate the premises.
Suwarnsparsh has a total of 56 branches across the state, of which 35 are in Mumbai alone. At least two of the landlords have filed FIRs against Suwarnsparsh so far. One such landlord is Sudhir Joshi, 80, who had leased his Dadar West shop space to the jewellery store in 2012. In April 2015, the rent agreement expired, but Suwarnsparsh did not vacate the shop. Neither did the accused pay rent for two years, which has resulted in losses of Rs 2 lakh per month for the landlord.
No rent, only threats
"After the agreement ended, they paid rent for another 2-3 months and then stopped. We requested them to vacate the shop, but they just threatened us," said Sanjay Jog, the landlord's nephew.
"We approached the court and the police have been ordered to file a FIR for cheating," he added.
Prakash Gangavni, a landlord from Ulhasnagar, has a similar tale to tell. He gave his shop on rent to Suwarnsparsh in 2011 for five years. "The monthly rent is Rs 80,000 but the accused never paid on time. In fact, 29 cheques have bounced. When the agreement period was over, I asked him to vacate the premises, but he just told me to go to court. We registered a FIR against the shop owner for cheating, wrongful possession, breach of contract," he said.
Yet another landlord, Ami Kholkar, 33, has been locked out of her own shop by the vindictive Suwarnsparsh owner. She told mid-day, "My father, Narsh Shah, gave the shop to them on rent from 2014 to March 2017. In April, when I asked them to leave, they refused."
"I put a padlock on the shop. I went back and saw that they had also put a lock of their own. Now neither of us can enter the shop," she added.
Niranjan Vaidya, 60, who has leased his shop in the Goyal shopping centre in Borivli, is now worried that when his contract ends in 2018, he may suffer the same fate. "Already, he has not paid me rent for the last three months. Every time I ask them to vacate the shop, they threaten us," he said.
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The other side
Vimal Patel, director of Suwarnsparsh said, "I have bank statements to show that I have paid rent for all the branches that are on lease."
Rs 2 lakh
Monthly rent to be paid to the Jog family
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