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Showing posts from March, 2018

Victims are about to get fooled by Bhagtanis again

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Mumbai, 31st March, 2018: The Bhagtani family and their henchmen have in-depth understanding of the flaws in our psychology, such as (1) financial illiteracy (2) blind trust in builders (3) habitual distrust of authorities including police (4) reluctance to go to court (5) penny-wise pound-foolishness (6) tendency for needless arguments, gossip-mongering and petty politics (7) herd mentality. Bhagtanis have a decade of experience in exploiting these weaknesses and repeatedly milking the same people over and over again. Bhagtanis have unfailingly made flat-buyers sign legal paperwork that is against their own interests, and make terrible choices that make them feel good in the short run and make them poorer in the long run.
Just because Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani are absconding and their office is closed, people wrongly believe that Bhagtanis are no longer active. A small and determined band of Bhagtani henchmen are still active, busily laying out their nets for catching their old…

Does RERA order to Xander safeguard Serenity Victims?

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Mumbai, 28th March, 2018: It appears on the face of it, that MahaRERA order on Xander's interest in Bhagtani Serenity dated 16th March safeguards the interests of Serenity allottees. Mumbai Mirror interpreted the order in a positive way, and said, "Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority... ruled that Xander Finance... will have to protect the interests of the home buyers." Is this positive interpretation 100% correct, 50% correct, or only 10% correct?

Before we start searching for answers to this question, let us acknowledge the efforts of Trivesh Pooniwala and other Serenity victims, and Adv Tanuj Lodha who ably represents them. This article is not intended to belittle their efforts and achievements; indeed, it is meant to support them in their quest for justice.

It appears that on the face of it, RERA judge BD Kapadnis has passed an order in the interests of Serenity allotees. But bear in mind that jo dikhta hai, woh hai nahin, aur jo hai, woh dikhta nahin hai…

Bhagtani Riyo's Dismissed Case for MPID: Should You Appeal?

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Mumbai, 24th March, 2018: Bhagtani Riyo victims' efforts to compel EOW to apply MPID Act got a setback last week as the special judge rejected their application. After initial disappointment, the victims' reaction was: "We must appeal!" But the question arises: Is appealing likely to be fruitful? Let us apply our mind without sentimental attachment to past decisions and actions.

First, let us remember why we filed the application under MPID.
Why MPID?
The full name of MPID Act is "Maharashtra Protection of Interests of Depositors (in Financial Establishments) Act, 1999". It is designed to protect "depositors in financial establishments". We had three challenges: (1) People who paid Bhagtani money are not exactly "depositors". (2) JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd is not exactly a "financial establishment" (3) Section 2(c)(iv)(a) of the MPID Act explicitly excludes "advance against order for goods or services" from the term &quo…

Do Bhagtani's allotment letters have any real value?

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Mumbai, 17th March, 2018: Some years ago, you gave Bhagtani lakhs of rupees in exchange for what you thought was a legally-enforceable contract. But is it a contract, or just worthless pieces of paper? Let us take a close look at your transaction. Possession, they say, is nine-tenths of the law, meaning that your ownership of something is easy to maintain if your have possession of it, and difficult when not. When your money was in your own bank account, it was entirely yours. It was your "today-money".
Then you put your money into JVPD Properties, Jaycee Homes or MD Devcon, and thereby renounced your possession and diluted your ownership of the money. In the company accounts, your money became aggregated with other people's and Bhagtani's money. It was treated by Bhagtani family as their own money, to lend or spend as they pleased, without any financial discipline. It flowed into places hard to track, such as unregistered partnerships and proprietorship accounts, a…

Keep fighting, don't buy Bhagtani's "khayali pulao"

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Mumbai, 16th March, 2018: Yes, legal battles are tough, time-consuming, exhausting and costly. You win some and you lose some; that is the nature of the beast. Riyo victims' MPID application at sessions court was rejected on technical grounds, making it necessary for the group to approach high court. Serenity victims' RERA application seeking to have Xander declared a co-promoter appears a bit shaky; whether it will be accepted or rejected by RERA judge Kapadnis will be seen in a few days.

Yes, legal battles require patience and alertness. It took 3-4 months of hard work for Riyo victims who were complainants and intervenors to put Diipesh Bhagtani in prison; he almost succeeded in fooling the judiciary, getting anticipatory bail and flying to Dubai like his father and brother. In the end, people managed to get his bail application rejected. It took group effort and enterprise, and yes, it cost the victims about Rs 10,000/- per head.

Going forward, getting a high court order …

Tomorrow's Protest will Unite 725 Bhagtani Savannah Victims

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Mumbai, 10th March, 2018: Hundreds of victims of Bhagtani builder's Savannah project will come together tomorrow (Sunday) to stage a protest at the project site at Kanjurmarg East. Between 2014 and 2016, MD Devcon Pvt Ltd, a group company of Bhagtani's Jaycee Homes, aggressively advertised the Savannah project, and collected booking amounts of roughly Rs 170 crore from 725 flat-purchasers, without any intention of completing the project and delivering flats. The funds were diverted and misappropriated by the builders.

Diipesh Bhagtani, the mastermind of the scam, has been in judicial custody since 11th January due to multiple FIRs registered by Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) for similar offenses committed in four other projects, viz. Riyo (Mira Road), Sapphire (Dahisar), Serenity and Krishaang (Powai). Meanwhile, Diipesh Bhagtani's elder brother Mukesh and father Laxman, who have also played major roles in the scam, have been absconding for many months, and are belie…