Mumbai: 53-yr-old duped of Rs 23 lakh after being promised MHADA flat

The woman was cheated by a small-time Marathi film producer, who had taken the amount between 2011 and 2014; cops are investigating if the money was used to fund the accused’s film Aashiyana

The Charkop Police have arrested a woman, who cheated a 53-year-old woman of R23 lakh and allegedly invested the money to make a Marathi film named, Aashiyana. The arrested accused has been identified as Rajni Pandit. The Charkop police have been investigating the case since January 2015.

Rajni Pandit
The accused Rajni Pandit

During their investigations, the police discovered that the accused had invested a huge amount in a Marathi film called Aashiyana. “We are investigating whether the victim’s money has also been used to make the film,” said an officer from the Charkop police station.

A poster of the Marathi film Aashiyana, produced by the accused and her husband.
A poster of the Marathi film Aashiyana, produced by the accused and her husband

According to the Charkop police, the complainant is a mother of three and stays in a rented flat in Charkop with two of her kids, a 23-year-old daughter and a 13-year-old son. Her other son and husband reside in Texas. The woman runs a day care centre from her home. The accused had admitted her daughter at the centre and this is how she got in touch with the victim.

The swindle
Pandit got to know that the 53-year-old was looking to buy a flat. She told the woman that she could get her a MHADA flat for a lot cheaper than the market rate. Pandit had taken cash and cheques amounting to Rs 23 lakh between 2011 and 2014. After this, she would take the victim to MHADA houses throughout the city. They finally settled on a flat in Charkop. However, the sale still wasn’t coming through.

Then, Pandit handed her some documents pertaining to her new flat. “She had given me documents of a flat in MHADA. However, when I got them verified, they turned out to be fake,” said the victim.

Not the only victim
After waiting for four years for the flat, the woman realised that she had been swindled. She visited Pandit’s Borivli office to confront her. During her trips to the office, she realised that she was not the only one who had been cheated. The accused had duped other people in the same way as well.

She asked Pandit to return the money and threatened to report the matter to the police if she failed to do so. Pandit pleaded with her and said she would return the money. She gave the victim a cheque, but it bounced. Pandit was nowhere to be found after this happened.

Remanded in custody
The victim had a heart attack and had to undergo a bypass surgery, when she learnt that Pandit had vanished with her money. She approached the police and filed a complaint against Pandit in January 2015. The police have been investigating the case since, and finally registered an FIR on December 29. Pandit was arrested on the December 30, and has been remanded in police custody.

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