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Arrest imminent? DS Kulkarni, wife’s anticipatory bail extension rejected by Pune court

Rejection of anticipatory bail has paved way for Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to arrest developer for defaulting on payments to depositors who had invested money with DSK Group 

pune Updated: Nov 09, 2017 23:35 IST
Shalaka Shinde
Shalaka Shinde
Hindustan Times, Pune
DSK,DS Kulkarni,bail
DS Kulkarni, CMD of DSK Developers Ltd.(HT PHOTO)

Pune A local court in Pune on Wednesday turned down anticipatory bail plea of realtorDeepak Sakharam Kulkarni and wife Hemanti Deepak Kulkarni, in a case of alleged cheating. Therejection of anticipatory bail has paved way for the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) to arrest the developerfor defaulting on payments to depositors who had invested money with the DSK Group, of which DS Kulkarni is the founder, through fixed deposits (FD).

Thwarting the defence argument claiming that Sections 3 and 4 of the Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors Act (MPDA), 1999 were wrongfully invoked, special judge JT Utpat said,“prima facie it cannot be said that the provisions of MPID Act cannot be invoked.” He further added, “The gravity and the magnitude of the charges alleged against the accused, I’m of the view that this is not at all a fit case to grant interim anticipatory bail.”

“Till now, we have 1,340 complainants and the stake may reach ₹500 crore. They did not use the deposits for construction purpose as only 20 per cent of their sites are complete. And the loans of the people who bought houses in these 20 per cent projects have also been transferred to DSK by the banks. There is huge public money involved. Instead of using the money for construction, DSK has used the money for his and family’s personal use. For now, DSK owes ₹622 crore to the depositors and has bank loans worth ₹1,400 crore,” public prosecutor Sunil Hande said.

“The defence advocate had asked for interim protection until they approach the high court in the matter. However, the court has rejected the extension as well,” advocate Hande further said.The judge had earlier offered interim relief to the realter after the prosecution sought time to argue their case. According to prosecution lawyer some of the companies of the DSK group are not registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and a report filed by company’s Chartered Accountant (CA) claims that DSK has failed to pay interests to their depositors and its staff. “The DSK Developers limited has downgraded to D-level (under Companies Act) and its continued existence was doubtful based on the CA’s report,” said Hande.

Further dismantling the defence argument, judge JT Utpat said that the submission made by DSK counsel that the company be allowed to sell the land in order to pay the depositors is only hypothetical.“Nobody knows when the said land will be sold and what price it would fetch. Further more, I’m of the view that accepting the above terms of the accused for their release, would amount to conducting the investigation as per the whims and wish of the accused,” the judgement reads.The special judge, then, said that the claims of malafide intentions of land mafia and police are mere allegations. He concluded that the company can take legal recourse in case“some mischievousness is being done”.

The case was filed by Jitendra Narayan Mulekar (65), a resident of Kothrud, who alleged that the company run by the two duped him of ₹4,40,647 since February this year.The Kulkarnis were booked under the Indian Penal Code (IPC) Sections 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 34 (common intention) and Sections 3 and 4 of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) Act. The case was taken up by the Economic Offence Wing (EOW).

The police have frozen 70 bank accounts of at least seven firms of the DSK Group, after special units searched five premises owned by DS Kulkarni - four in Pune and one in Mumbai.

First Published: Nov 08, 2017 16:37 IST