In an alleged fraud involving a vertical of the Yash Birla conglomerate, a south Mumbai resident has lodged an FIR of cheating to the tune of Rs 2 crore against Yash Birla, his wife Avanti, and employees of Birla Power Solutions Ltd P B Murthy, Anant Vardhan Pathak, Ashish Mahendrakar and Tushar Dey.
On May 26, the Pydhonie police station registered the case filed by complainant Nandini Suchde (46), who resides in Colaba. Suchde claims that the Birla firm owes her nearly Rs 7.90 crore. However, in February 2012, a post-dated cheque of Rs 2 crore was issued to her by the company from an account which was inactive when she encashed it this year, and therefore bounced, states the FIR of which MiD DAY has a copy.
Suchde claims that in the last three years, she invested nearly Rs 5 crore in Birla Power Solutions, a Yash Birla Group entity, on an assurance of two per cent interest per month. She claimed that she smelled something fishy when she heard of certain defaults on the part of the company, and asked for her money back.
“I was content when I got the cheques from the company, but the cheques bounced. When I approached the people associated with the Birla company, I was told they would repay the money, but that didn’t happen. Finally, I had no option but to go ahead and register a case of cheating against Yash, his wife and others working with him,” said Suchde.
‘Will fight it’
According to Suchde, the company has cheated many other investors. “The number of people whose cheques bounced goes up to more than 800 across the country,” she said. “This is my hard earned money and I will fight till my last breath to get it back. I know of many others who have been cheated by the company, and the total amount defrauded may go up to Rs 300 crore. We are uniting and will soon fight the case,” said Suchde.
The case against Yash Birla and the others has been registered under sections 420 (cheating), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (act done by several persons in furtherance of a common intention) of the IPC. Senior Inspector Dinesh Ahir of Pydhonie police station said, “We have registered the complaint against Yash Birla and others and the investigations are on.”
The other side
In a statement issued by the company, Yash Birla Group advisor OP Jain said: “This complainant was issued the cheque no 450205 in February 2012 (before closing of a/c). The same cheque was drawn on Indian Overseas Bank (IOB). Being a post-dated cheque, it was required to be banked in March 2013.
“Indian Overseas Bank account number 030102000007272 at New Marine Lines branch was closed with effect from January 31, 2013. Closure of the account was initiated due to a letter dated October 31, 2012 received from State Bank of India, our lead bank. In the letter, SBI instructed the company to close its account with Bank of India and IOB. In view of this instruction, the IOB account was closed. All concerned were informed about the closure and were requested not to bank cheques drawn on IOB. New cheques of SBI were issued.
“The FIR filed at Pydhonie police station, is frivolous and devoid of any truth. Once the IOB account was closed, replacement cheques from SBI were issued to complainant also. However the IOB cheques were not returned back to the company by the complainant and the same were misused to justify a false case. The company is legally dealing with the matter and is taking all necessary measures required.”