Socialite Poonam Bhagat and industrialist Jaidev Shroff
In April 2016, top industrialist and head of United Phosphorus Limited, Jaidev Shroff filed a case against his wife Poonam Bhagat, accusing her of spiking his drink with a mysterious powdery concoction on the advice of a 'Bengali baba'. The said drink had then left him drowsy and disoriented, he said.
Poonam hit back with Anticipatory Bail Application stating all allegations made by Jaidev were false. The application said that inhuman treatment was meted out to her while they were married and that she suffered physical and mental violence and even a miscarriage. Poonam also claimed that she was also ready for a quick divorce after she learnt about Shroff's long drawn extra-marital affair that she alleged started in 2013.
After lodging an FIR against Poonam, Jaidev then moved an application at the family court, in which he said he feared for his and his children's lives and in order to protect them, he does not want Poonam to enter their Bandra home. The family court allowed the application. A taped conversation, allegedly between Poonam and a 'Bengali baba' she had roped in, went against her, with Jaidev identifying the voice on tape as hers.
While arguing against the bail application of Poonam Bhagat Shroff in court, the prosecutor said Poonam took the Bengali baba's number from her mother Rajani Bhagat, which she had allegedly used to harm her husband Jaidev. In retort, Poonam's lawyers said the allegations and the FIR registered against Poonam was a stunt to get a quick divorce. They also said there is no knowledge on who recorded the conversation between Poonam and Baba and the recording could be tampered with. "It is just a matrimonial dispute," they added.
In June 2016, Shroff filed another complaint against Bhagat at the Khar police station, alleging that she colluded with top contemporary artist Subodh Gupta, leading art collector and dealer Peter Nagy and Aparajita Jain, both directors at leading Delhi-based art gallery Nature Morte, to cheat him of Rs 74 lakh. Jaidev's UPL paid Rs 4 crore for the installation titles, Dada, which now sits in the company's Bandra office lobby. Jaidev has alleged that the trio siphoned off UPL's money by inflating the price of the work. Jaidev has also alleged that Poonam had tried to install the artwork at their Bandra residence when it was delivered in April 2015, with the aim of claiming it in case of a divorce.
After the Bombay High Court allowed Poonam Bhagat entry into her estranged husband's Pali Hill home, she visited it to collect her jewellery, clothes, passport and other documents. A source who was present in the house had told mid-day, "Bhagat arrived at Jaidev's Pali Hill house with her daughter and others. However, she walked out within 15 minutes without taking anything and claiming that her jewellery was missing."
In July 2016, her former driver also turned against Poonam Bhagat. Kunwar Singh filed a complaint with the Khar police, alleging that Poonam had asked him to lie on her behalf in the divorce battle and then slapped him when he took her husband's side instead. Singh is employed by Jaidev and stopped driving for Poonam after the couple separated.
In the latest development in the case, The Bombay High Court has ordered YouTube to furnish details of the person who uploaded defamatory videos of Poonam Bhagat on the website. Bhagat has claimed that her estranged husband Jaidev Shroff was circulating these videos of her with some of their common friends, so Shroff also submitted an undertaking that he will be using the said videos only for court proceedings. Bhagat also told the court that the videos on YouTube were uploaded under the username 'black box'
Poonam and Jaidev dated in 2003 while he was going through a divorce with first wife Romila, and married Poonam in 2005. He has two children from the first marriage and a daughter with Poonam. Poonam belongs to the family behind the Nirlon Group and is sister to headline-maker socialite Sheetal Mafatlal.
About The Gallery
Industrialist Jaidev Shroff and his wife Poonam Bhagat have been involved in a nasty legal battle over their divorce, with both sides constantly trading blows at each other. A detailed look at their conflict