Ponty Chadha, brother killed in firing
DISPUTE SPARKS FATAL GUNBATTLE

Liquor and real-estate baron Gurpreet Singh Chadha, known as ‘Ponty Chadha’, and his younger brother, Hardeep, dies on Saturday after allegedly opening fire at each other during a meeting to resolve their property dispute.

The 55-year-old businessman had commercial interest in liquor, real estate, paper mills, multiplexes, poultry and sugar, and his group is valued at Rs 6,000 crore.

According to agencies, there were conflicting reports about the meeting of the brothers at a South Delhi farmhouse that apparently started off peacefully but turned ugly and fatal. Police and forensic teams visited the spot and lifted fingerprints and other evidence. Empty cartridges have also been recovered.

Who is Ponty Chadha?

The Moradabad-born Chadha also produced the 2005 Sunny Deol starrer Jo Bole So Nihaal.

Chadha’s rise is a typical ‘rags to riches’ story. He started off selling snacks with his father in front of a country wine shop. Ponty Chadha, along with his two brothers, ended up managing the Chadha Group that has been consolidated under the Wave brand.

Media-shy Chadha has been in news for various wrong reasons, including income-tax raids and for allegedly using political clout to further his business empire. In 2005, during the Samajwadi Party rule in UP, headed by Mulayam Singh Yadav, Chadha won State-wide contract to supply ready-to-eat food under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS). His company, Great Value Foods, retained the contracts after change of government, and in 2009, won unprecedented monopoly over UP's wholesale liquor trade.

Chadha's companies have been probed by income-tax authorities several times. In February, Chadha paid a tax of Rs 54 crore on ‘undisclosed income’ of Rs 175 crore.

In the real estate sector, too, his company is developing 4,500 acres of prime land, which was awarded to Wave Infratech that he owns, for the Yamuna Expressway Project, a venture mired in controversies over land acquisition.

bindu.menon@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on November 17, 2012)
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