Mumbai court issues NBW against Gujarat BJP chief in cheque-bounce case

Virendra Pandit Gandhinagar | Updated on January 15, 2018 Published on April 12, 2017

At a time when the ruling party is busy putting together the promises it would make to the people ahead of the coming Assembly elections, the BJP has suffered a huge embarrassment in Gujarat where its state party chief Jitubhai Vaghani, and his two business partners, have been slapped with arrest warrants by a Mumbai court in a cheque-bounce case.

The Gujarat DGP is supposed to execute the non-bailable warrant (NBW) and send the three accused to the Mumbai court on May 2, according to information available here.

Earlier, the court had issued a bailable warrant, and on Tuesday it issued a non-bailable warrant (NBW) for bouncing of a cheque worth Rs 19 lakh given by the Bhavnagar-based Eva Group of Companies, in which Vaghani is a business partner. His two other partners are Bharat Patel and Sandip Soparia.

Eva had purchased land worth Rs 10.85 crore in the upmarket Bandra suburban area of Mumbai in an auction in August 2010. Later, the company re-sold the land, originally owned by Stan Rose Steel Ltd, which went into liquidation, to Novelty Power Infratech Company, which paid the first installment of Rs 3 crore to Eva.

However, when Eva failed to get title clearance for a long time, Novelty cancelled the deal. Following an agreement, Eva decided to refund the money along with interest and other expenses. But the cheque issued as the first instalment was dishonoured by the bank due to insufficient funds in Eva’s account.

Following this, Novelty moved the 58th court of the Bandra Metropolitan Magistrate, which issued a bailable warrant against Vaghani and his partners under Section 138 read with Section 141 of the Negotiable Instruments Act. The Eva group challenged the order in a higher court, but its plea was rejected. The Mumbai court then issued another bailable warrant but the Gujarat police returned it claiming that the addresses were “untraceable.”

The Mumbai court, this time, issued a NBW and directed the Gujarat police to go to Bhavnagar to execute the warrant. The Gujarat police, however, visited their addresses on April 2 and again on April 3 and later filed a case that Vaghani was not available at this address.

Vaghani, who was available to reporters here, claimed that the entire move was “politically motivated” to defame the BJP. Earlier, state BJP spokesman Bharat Pandya had claimed that Vaghani had transferred Rs 19 lakh to the company through RTGS, although Vaghani himself kept mum on this.

“But some interested parties had suppressed the facts about his making the payment through RTGS and was misusing the social media to defame Vaghani and the BJP,” Pandya added.

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Published on April 12, 2017
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