HC restrains police from taking coercive steps against Canadian bizman | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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HC restrains police from taking coercive steps against Canadian bizman

Nov 27, 2022 12:47 AM IST

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has restrained the Mumbai police from taking coercive steps against Canadian businessman Alnoor Hassan Ali Jamal in connection with disputes pertaining to a 13-acre Parke Davis plot in Saki Naka

Mumbai: The Bombay high court has restrained the Mumbai police from taking coercive steps against Canadian businessman Alnoor Hassan Ali Jamal in connection with disputes pertaining to a 13-acre Parke Davis plot in Saki Naka.

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The division bench of justice Revati Mohite-Dere and justice SM Modak have also stayed the look out circulars and warrants issued against the 71-year-old businessman, who is presently based in Kenya, and thus allowed him to visit the city to pursue the civil case involving the prime property, valued around 700 crore.

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Jamal, who has multiple global business ventures, in August 1999 had agreed to purchase the commercial plot belonging to Warner Lambert’s Indian subsidiary Parke Davis Ltd., which was shifting its base to Hyderabad, for a total consideration of 49 crore.

He said pursuant to the MoU, Jamal was introduced to city resident Shobhit Ranjan, as a potential option to assist locally for the development of the property. Seeking interim orders to enable Jamal to visit India to pursue the civil proceedings, his counsel, advocate Fereshte Sethna, claimed that in the negotiations that followed, Ranjan had agreed to “take full responsibility of looking after the day-to-day affairs and also undertake obligations for raising finance, in relation to the acquisition (beyond earnest money) and development of a real estate project.”

In December 1999, an agreement was executed between Jamal and Ranjan, under which the latter was entitled to receive a salary and 50% sweat equity in Pantheon Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, through which the property was to be acquired. Jamal alleged that Ranjan through diverse illegal and fraudulent misrepresentations, including benami shareholders, swiftly ramped up his equity to over 71% in the firm.

The Canadian national further alleged that Ranjan then introduced a director and eventually reduced his shareholding in the firm to 28.33% and subsequently also siphoned off some bank funding obtained for the project and when he confronted Ranjan, the latter illegally ousted Jamal from the company on account of his alleged non-attendance at board meetings. He said Ranjan did it with the support from co-directors Navnit Mehta and Nilesh Parekh.

As Jamal filed proceedings before the Company Law Board and four criminal cases, Ranjan and others eventually filed five complaints against the Canadian national over a period of time.

Ranjan opposed the plea for interim relief claiming the businessman was an absconder, as he had evaded the process of the court, despite knowing that proceedings were pending against him, he continued to remain out of the country and therefore he was not entitled to any relief from the court. Besides, his counsel claimed that Jamal had twisted facts and perpetuated fraud and therefore he was liable to face the criminal proceedings.

The HC, however, found force in the submissions made on behalf of Jamal. “We, prima facie, find some substance in the allegations/submissions of the learned counsel for the applicant (Jamal), that the respondent No.2, Shobhit Rajan and Navnit Mehta, since expired and substituted by Pulin Bole, have, in all, filed five cases against the applicant, only to ensure that it becomes impossible for the applicant to come to India, to defend the property in question, which is worth several hundred crores,” the bench said.

“We are of the opinion that no offences as alleged are disclosed in the FIRs/complaints,” the bench observed and granted relief to the Canadian national.

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