Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Bhagtani victims: Unite with Cash-and-Carry principle

12th July, 2018, Mumbai: My blog criticizing the consent terms of Sapphire Welfare Association (SWA) with Bhagtanis raised a hornet's nest. Some angry people asked whether I had any solution for getting their money back. If I didn't, I should just shut up, they said. (They also said a whole bunch of other things, but let us focus on the constructive part.)

Yes, since you ask, I have specific ideas about how to get your money back. My proposed method is: Cash-and-carry (CAC). If a party's credit-worthiness is zero and he is already deep in debt, trade with them on CAC terms. Stop extending credit! 

What Bhagtanis want from you now is quashing of FIR and withdrawal of complaints. What you want is your money. So you should aim to get what you want at the same time as (or before) Bhagtanis what they want -- not a day later! Like they say in movies, "Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo". Shopkeepers call it cash-and-carry. Everything else can be negotiated, but for heaven's sake, stop trading with Bhagtanis on credit! Learn your lesson already!

Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo.
Why barter is a terrible idea

While Diipesh is in custody, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani are in control of substantial wealth. The Rs 427 crore that they admit to having collected from various projects did not vanish like a tub of water poured on desert sand! Although absconding and abroad for many months, Bhagtanis are able to sustain themselves, pay expensive lawyers and organize their employees who continue to do their bidding. Don't assume that Bhagtanis are unable to pay you actual money in exchange for what they want i.e. withdrawal of complaints and quashing of FIRs.

Doing barter trade is a bad idea because the actual value of the trade goods they offer (such as Sapphire land) is totally unknown and unassessed, and the amount of time before you will get its value in your bank account is totally uncertain. If you barter, there is every likelihood that the builders or the association will make you shell out huge amounts of money in future -- and how much money is impossible to estimate. So, opting for conveyance of land is a formula for exploiting you for an indefinite amount of time.  You will remain indefinitely mired in this mess if you keep making these bad choices!

So, don't barter like a stone-age man. Trade like a civilized person. Ask for refund of your money even if it appears less, because, unlike trade goods,  you know the exact value of money, and it is immediately useful for your family. Money is the only acceptable trade also because it gives you an immediate and clean exit from this whole jhamela!

Don't trade deliverables for promises

My main criticism of SWA consent terms is that withdrawal of complaints and quashing of FIR etc. will happen first (i.e. they are deliverables), whereas land conveyance etc. is supposed to follow later on (i.e. they are promises). Also, the land will be in the association's hands, and not in yours.

Please read the questionable wordings of the consent terms, and note how the allegations and complaints against Bhagtanis stand immediately withdrawn, unconditionally. Read this:

These consent terms are a clean chit which you are giving
before Bhagtanis fulfill any commitment.
On what basis are you giving this clean chit?

Why should you trust Bhagtanis' promises? Were their allotment letters and cancellation deeds honoured? Were their post-dated cheques and credit notes honoured? Were their promises of transfer of investment honoured? No, no, no, and again, no!

Did Bhagtani deposit Rs 22 crore as per his commitment in his affidavit? NO. Did Bhagtani disclose all true facts in his two affidavits? NO. (Read this article about affidavits.) So, what makes you believe that they will honour the consent terms? Blind faith or herd mentality?

Complaints, FIRs, cheque-bouncing cases etc are your only grip on the builders. If they get freedom from criminal and civil proceedings, they have successfully escaped!

1) Unite under Cash-and-Carry principle. All Bhagtani victims who believe in the principle of Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo should unite in a single Whatsapp group (Click here to join: ). This group can work in harmony with existing groups/associations and leaderships, provided the leaders publicly resolve to work on CAC principle only. It will have project-wise subdivisions e.g. Sapphire CAC group, Savannah CAC group, etc. You can be members of other groups and associations, as long as you accept the CAC principle. Anybody who rejects the CAC principle in speech and actions will be gently urged to leave the group, or expelled. Within the space of CAC principle, anything and everything can be discussed and debated.

2) Increase the number of criminal complaints and civil cases against Bhagtanis. CAC group should aggressively aim to facilitate more people to file FIRs -- either directly with police EOW, or through magistrate (private complaints), as well as cheque-bouncing cases and other proceedings. EOW's habit of filing one FIR per project by listing most victims as witnesses, is arguably unlawful and a misuse of their powers; let us challenge this malpractice in all possible ways, including moving High Court through a writ petition after making all other efforts. Every additional FIR and/or civil case will increase the pressure on Bhagtani.

3) Become intervenors in existing civil cases and file caveats against quashing petitions. The objective is to prevent "soft" consent terms from being signed, and thereby prevent Bhagtanis from getting a soft and easy exit. If you are a member of a group leaning towards soft consent terms, then generate opinion in favour of CAC principle!

4) Energetic action and no free lunches. Members should participate in regular morchas, frequent visits to Mantralaya and EOW, and at least two meetings with political leaders of various parties to highlight our grievances per month. Ideally, one meeting and/or photo-op should be happen every week, even if it is as trivial as a meeting with a local Shiv Sena shakha pramukh or local journalist! We need to lobby vigourously, not only with Mantralaya, but with every politico who will give us a hearing. By doing so, we should provide regular material for Twitter feeds and Facebook shares, and keeping Bhagtanis in the public eye through such constant meetings. Creating a continuous social media drumbeat is a key part of this entire activity. Non-participating members, who are unable to attend or substantially help in organizing these events, will be asked to pay costs (say Rs 500/- per morcha/meeting/event). This amount will be distributed among group members who stay active at the ground-level, and who organize/attend the morcha/meeting. And while we are on this topic, yes, I will personally charge Rs 300/- per group member per month; if the work I am doing isn't worth ten bucks per day in your eyes, then guys, I should die of shame.

5) If or when Bhagtanis enter into negotiations with CAC group for withdrawal of cases, there is only one basis for negotiations: Money in the accounts of all group members. The key point is that money has to be actually deposited in your accounts through RTGS. We will agree to withdraw some complaints or allow quashing of some FIRs, but only against receipt of bank transfers to the accounts of all current group members. Be clear in your mind that we may willingly write off substantial part of the debt to be repaid, rather than hold on to large notional figures that include principal, interest, compensation etc. For example, we may show willingness to settle for 50% payment. Whatever repayment is decided after discussions and negotiations with Bhagtanis, that amount has to be actually delivered by RTGS to your individual accounts before any complaint is withdrawn. At the very outset, we emphatically reject proposals to pay in kind, e.g. by conveyance of land, transfer of investment to other projects, etc.

6) This is a reality-check. It is a make-or-break decision. Either recover money or inflict punishments by vigourously prosecuting the builders. Say no to easy escape-routes for Bhagtanis where they get away scot-free by giving you a lollipop.

Of course, not everybody needs to subscribe to the CAC principle. It's okay even if a majority of people prefer lollipops to CAC. We don't need to be a majority; even being a sizeable minority will serve the same purpose.

Am I making sense here? Then click on, and embrace the CAC group.

Krishnaraj Rao


  1. Krish, we totally support you and would not let shame come upon you :)

  2. All your proposals are destructive and impractical solutions. The only way we will get our dream home is by joining SWA.

  3. Krishnaraj in last article you refereed to Affidavit of Bhagtani. When I read that affidavit it clearly says 2588 Investors are unpaid till filling of the affidavit.
    Also the affidavit says outstanding principle is approx 427.65 crores.
    You are suggesting Cash and carry. Your scheme looks more of cash and carry for yourself from already cheated investors.
    At one side you claim in public interest. But it appears that it is beneficial for you more then the cheated investors.
    If I believe the affidavit you are trying to appeal 2588 Investors to pay you Rs 10 per day which means 3650 for a year where in you are expecting 94 lac 46 Thousand Two hundred. WOW this is the best quick crorepati scheme.
    Well you have not stopped here these so called investors are expected to pay 500 per event/Morcha.... You are planning to organize 1 meeting 1 photo session per week. Meaning 2 event per week which would mean 1000 per week. Effectively already cheated investors will pay 4000 per month for events organised by you. Meaning 4300 per month per member totalling to 4300 X 2588 Investors = 1,11,28,400 (One crore eleven lac Twenty eight thousand and four hundred) monthly X 12 = 13,35,40,800 (13.35 Crore+) How many of these cheated investors got money by morchas in the past. Lets say if you create lot of media presence about Bhagtani status but will it get back the money?
    2588 Investors is just a handfull of people and there is judiciary system in place to tackle but these guys need to approach in a right way like SWA.
    If there was money with Bhagtanis they would have already given proposal for settlement and would not have been spending time behind bars.
    Investors be aware he himself is saying there is no free lunches .
    Dont forget FIR for cheating is already filled and our system will allow to add more witnesses challengin the system and getting it modified how will this help in recovery?
    If you file 2000 FIR will it give recovery from Bhagtanis ? FIRS dont generate money. There is need of property to be encashed. EOW is right body to find out about where money has gone and dsitribute it. If EOW cannot get it how will you (Krishnaraj) get it?
    You are now asking already cheated investors to give away 50% of original principle. Which means you are asking to waive off 50% of 427,65,50,433 (427.65 lac) approximately 213 crores. Hmmm so you are helping Bhagtanis to gain by 213 crores and will also earn 13.35 crores. So effectively you are asking investors to keep paying you and also forgive Bhagtani by 50% +.
    SO I will conclude that you are publising nothing in public interest but in your own interest to earn money.
    The 13.35 crore annual package is a big package so many of CEO dont get it.

    1. Basically a corrupt mind can think on those track only where he can make money rather then helping anybone as it's his business & poor SAPHAIRE INinvestor falling in his trap, very sad people should realise it's his business to make money & not help anyone.

    2. What an excellent finding bro and what an arithmetical calculation you done is really an eye opener for victims and it can be said that Krishna is a sweet poision for victims and people should understand this in time.

    3. Mr Manish, Thanks for the Excellent explanation. He is fishing in troubled waters. He is thinking to exploiting the trapped people. How can anybody be so crooked and cunning and say that he is doing things for public good?