The Khar police recently registered a case against socialite Poonam Bhagat on charges of cheating and criminal breach of trust for inflating the price of an artwork bought by United Phosphorous Limited (UPL), which is owned by her estranged husband Jaidev Shroff.
Hindustan Times tried contacting Bhagat and her lawyers through emails and phone calls, but they did not respond.
In June, UPL gave a written complaint to the Khar police station, stating that Bhagat inflated the price of an artwork – Family Tree by Subodh Gupta from the Nature Morte gallery – and cheated the company. It alleged that the price quoted for the artwork to UPL was Rs3.75 crore, but it was increased to Rs4 crore by Poonam.
“UPL has registered a case of cheating and criminal breach of trust against Poonam for causing wrongful losses to the company. We are also probing more such transactions where she was involved,” said Zulfiquar Memon of MZM Legal, representing UPL. The FIR, a copy of which is in HT’s possession, states that Poonam has cheated UPL of Rs25 lakh.
After the police did not initially file an FIR, UPL approached the court. Following a court order last week, the Khar police registered an FIR under Section 406 and 420 of the IPC. An official from the Khar police station said they will soon record Bhagat’s statement.