The magistrate court, hearing socialite Sheetal Mafatlal’s plea challenging the false complaint report filed against her by the Mumbai crime branch, said it wants to see the original and fake paintings.
While the originals are at the JJ School of Arts, the alleged fake ones have been kept at the Gamdevi police station.
According to the prosecution, the original paintings had been replaced much before the question of ownership was raised.
Sheetal had removed the paintings from the Mafatlal Bungalow in July 2011, following which her step-daughter Marushka filed a complaint with the police.
The prosecution said after removing the paintings, Sheetal replaced them with fake ones.
The police, in their summary report, had said, “Sheetal herself is responsible for the process – right from shifting the paintings from the Mafatlal Bungalow till the time the police seized the original paintings, and in order to retain the valuable original paintings in her custody, she intentionally executed a scheme trying to prove the accused forged the paintings, and thereafter filed a false complaint”.
On Monday, the prosecution said investigations had revealed how Sheetal had asked her house help to remove the paintings, and then asked photographer Vikram Bawa to make copies.
Sheetal had accused businessman Areef Patel, Yasmin MY, the owner of the two apartments where some of paintings were allegedly kept, and Farukh Wadia, Patel’s employee, of replacing artworks worth crores.
However, the crime branch found the complaint was false.
In her protest petition, Sheetal said the report was misconceived and without application of mind. She claimed the paintings she kept at Yasmin’s house were originals.
The case will be heard on March 17, when Sheetal’s advocate Santosh Chari will counter the police’s claims.