Mumbai: Master conman slapped with 18th FIR after he tries to dupe high court

Ponzi scheme operator Shekhar Chandrashekhar tried to stall the HC from auctioning a property by posing as the secretary of a cabinet minister

Master fraudster Shekhar Chandrashekhar thought he could dupe the Bombay High Court, but he couldn’t have picked a worse target. After he tried to stall the auction of a property that was sub-judice, the enraged high court ordered the police to register an FIR against the conman — the 18th fraud case against him.

Shekhar Chandrashekhar is currently in the custody of the Chennai police, as he was granted bail in the Ponzi case last month
Shekhar Chandrashekhar is currently in the custody of the Chennai police, as he was granted bail in the Ponzi case last month

He was arrested last year for duping people out of Rs 19 crore through a Ponzi scheme. He would pose as an MP from Bangalore and tell his victims he was the chairman of King Group India to convince them to invest.
Well known for his skills at impersonation, he continued to create havoc even while he was in judicial custody. He managed to stay out of prison, spending months at Rajawadi Hospital, as he kept complaining of illness. Even as he was on the hospital bed, Shekhar hatched a plot to fool the HC and stall the auction of a property, posing as the secretary of a cabinet minister.

However, on Friday, the Azad Maidan police registered the 18th case of fraud against him after a complaint from high court official.

The con
The complainant is Shailesh Deshpande, a court receiver who handles assets that are sub-judice.

According to sources, Deshpande stated that around 11.15 am on April 4, he received a call on his office landline from a person who claimed to be RK Sharma, the secretary of Cabinet Minister of Law DV Sadanand Gowda.

“Deshpande stated in the complaint that the person — who called himself Sharma — told him to stop the auction procedure in a property matter involving Tata Capital Housing Finance Limited and others, as the opposing party in the case had deposited funds to the petitioner. The caller tried to influence Deshpande to stall the auction for a few days,” said a police officer.

Deshpande informed the senior administrative magistrate and the administrative committee office about the phone call, and also brought the matter to the attention of the judge who was hearing the property dispute.
The HC took the matter very seriously and, on obtaining the call details, learnt that the call was made from Rajawadi Hospital.

Don’t mess with the HC
The HC directed the Ghatkopar police to serve a notice to the owner of the phone number in 24 hours. When a notice could not be served, the HC issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) against the person. “Ghatkopar Police then traced the phone number holder, who was identified as Irfan Jaipuri,” confirmed Inspector Yakub Mulla of Ghatkopar Police.

Irfan informed the court that his phone number was being used by Shekhar, who had managed to get himself admitted in Rajawadi Hospital to avoid being behind bars at Arthur Road jail. Irfan is the son of Nasir Jaipuri, nephew of legendary Bollywood lyricist Hasrat Jaipuri. Nasir had also been arrested along with Shekhar last year. Since, Nasir was Shekhar’s friend, his son Irfan would regularly meet Shekhar in the hospital.

On learning about Shekhar’s involvement, the HC directed that a criminal case be filed against him. The preliminary probe revealed that Shekhar was somehow to be ‘benefited’ by stalling the auction procedure involving the two parties in the case. Both parties have also been named as accused.

All were booked under Sections 419 (cheating by personation), 170 (personating a public servant), 183 (resistance to the taking of property by the lawful authority of a public servant), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code.

DCP (Zone I) Manojkumar Sharma confirmed the FIR and said, “The investigation is in the initial stages. Once we get the custody of the accused, only then can we ascertain the reason why he made the phone call.” Shekhar is currently in custody of the Chennai police, but is also under the scanner for his unjustified stay at Rajawadi Hospital after his arrest in Mumbai (see box).

Playing the system
>> A few months after he was jailed in 2015, Shekhar posed as an IRS officer and pressurised a doctor at KEM Hospital to admit him

>> After he was sent back to jail, he would make excuses to visit the out-patient department at Rajawadi Hospital every day

>> He allegedly filched a letterhead from JJ Hospital and forged a letter recommending he be admitted. He spent four months at Rajawadi Hospital.

>> He was sent back to jail but was granted bail in the Ponzi scheme case last month.

>> His luck ran out, however, and he was taken into custody by the Chennai police just days after his release

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