Maruksha Mafatlal, the 19-year-old daughter of Atulya Mafatlal, added a new chapter to the Mafatlal family saga when she moved the magistrate court on Monday against step-mother Sheetal, accusing her of stealing precious paintings, family jewellery and other artefacts from their bungalow.
The court heard arguments by Marushka’s lawyer Hrishikesh Mundargi, who contented that Gamdevi police station did not register the girl’s complaints despite being approached several times.
In her complaint, Marushka stated that following Atulya’s departure for London on July 11 for cancer treatment, Sheetal moved priceless paintings and artefacts to an undisclosed location under the pretext of safe-keeping. Marushka claimed that Sheetal did so in the presence of her grandmother Madhuri, as well as a domestic help, both of who have been listed as witnesses. “The paintings stolen by Sheetal, in connivance with two other accused, are valued at around Rs45-50 crore,” stated Marushka in her complaint.
The complaint states that Marushka immediately called her father Atulya in London who e-mailed Sheetal asking her not to move any of the artifacts, as they belonged to the family. In her reply – documented in the complaint – Sheetal told Atulya: “I will hence be coming to London to see you. In my absence, I do not want to leave my valuables in the house considering that there is a family dispute going on since 2005, and there has been a history of thefts and disappearance of valuables.”
Atulya, in his reply, lashed out at Sheetal saying she “did not stand by him” despite his terminal illness and went on to remove the paintings “dragging family disputes and so on to justify her illegal actions”.
Earlier, Atulya and Sheetal were locked in a legal dispute with the matriarch, Madhuri, over their multi-crore house in south Mumbai and paintings and artefacts after the demise of Atulya’s father in 2005.
Despite repeated calls and text messages, Sheetal Mafatlal did not comment on the matter.