Mumbai: Lijjat Papad scion faces Rs 20 lakh dupe charge

Malad resident files FIR against Vishal Dattani, grandson of late PD Dattani, one of the founders of iconic food brand, Lijjat Papad for allegedly cheating him out of Rs 20 lakh

Malad resident Jatin Mer, 35, has filed a First Information Report (FIR) dated July 17 at the Amboli police station against the grandson of late PD Dattani aka Dattanibappa, one of the founders of iconic food brand, Lijjat Papad. Mer alleged that Dattani’s grandson, Vishal, cheated him of Rs 20 lakh, on the promise of a flat.

The spot where the building in Goregaon was to come up. (Insert) Jatin Mer filed an FIR at Amboli police station against Vishal Dattani
The spot where the building in Goregaon was to come up. (Insert) Jatin Mer filed an FIR at Amboli police station against Vishal Dattani

In 2013, Mer visited A and A Shelters Pvt. Ltd.’s Andheri office for details about a residential project in Goregaon. Here, he met Vishal Dattani and company director Abhisekh Vyas. “Dattani said, PD Dattani, founder of Lijjat Papad, was his grandfather. I checked with other sources and learnt his claims were true. This strengthened my trust.”

He went ahead and booked a flat measuring 650 square feet for Rs 48 lakh, and paid Rs 20 lakh between April and September 2013. He claims he was promised possession in 18 months. In the FIR which was registered post investigation, Mer alleges that the project is yet to take off two years later.

“I stay in a rented flat. When I saw an opportunity to own a home, I went ahead and made the payment. Although I complained to the builder repeatedly, he gave me post-dated cheques worth R30 lakh, which he said included the interest on the Rs 20 lakh I paid him. However, none of the cheques were honoured by the bank,” said Mer.

Repeated attempts to get in touch with Vishal Dattani were unsuccessful. However, his father Kamlesh Dattani, said, “My son is out of town. But he has got nothing to do with the company [property firm] now. He was just an employee. Whatever was done was done by the company, not him.”

President of the parent firm, Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad, Swati Paradkar, said, “Vishal Dattani is Dattanibappa's grandson, but Lijjat and P D Dattani have got nothing to do with the case. In fact, Vyas has given us a letter stating that Vishal is no longer associated with the company.

We do not wish to associate ourselves with this, because Dattanibappa always worked for society.” Vyas claimed that the project got stalled due to a delay in permissions from authorities. “Vishal was additional director. He handled accounts for us. But he is no longer with us.

The project couldn't take off because of a change in the state government's housing policies.” Vijay Kadam, investigating officer from Amboli Police station, confirmed that a case had been registered by Mer and investigations are on.

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