MUMBAI: A sessions court has ruled that a Malabar Hill-based man will have to stand trial on charges of fraudulently transferring to his name the electricity meter of a flat that was rented to his father over 40 years ago.
Setting aside the relief granted to the tenant by the lower court, which discharged him from the case, the sessions court said, “It prima facie appears that the application for the registration of the electric meter of the flat in question is in the name of the accused. This is sufficient to create grave suspicion against the accused and to frame charges against him.“
The court said that the trial court is requested to proceed with the trial in accordance with the law.
Forty-seven-year-old Walkeshwar resident Chandrasen Patel had filed a complaint before the Girgaon magistrate’s court alleging that the tenant Pradeep Khemani had committed offences under various sections of the Indian Penal Code including 420 (cheating) and 463 (forgery). The court had then recorded the evidence of the complainant and one other person. However, on September 16 last year, the magistrate’s court had discharged Khemani from the case. Aggrieved, Patel submitted the criminal revision application against the discharge order before the sessions court.
Patel told the sessions court that his father Bansilal Patel was the owner of the fourth floor flat at Malabar Hill. Patel said the flat was rented out to Khemani’s father, Atmaram Khemani. He further submitted that when Bansilal died in 1978, his mother Kesarben Patel became the sole owner of the flat and all the bills of the society used to be issued in her name. After Atmaram Khemani died, Pradeep continued to occupy the flat. Patel said that even though the society bill payments were made by Khemani, the receipt was issued in his mother’s name. The share certificate of the flat also stood in Kesarben’s name.
Patel said that a suit for eviction had been filed against Khemani in the Small Causes Court. He alleged that it was during the course of those proceedings he came to know that Khemani had transferred the electric meter of that flat in his name by using false and fabricated documents.
Patel further claimed that Khemani had used a false and fabricated society receipt dated April 24, 2008, to transfer the electric meter to his name. While deciding the matter, the sessions court referred to the copy of the application form submitted to the BEST to get the electricity meter registered in Khemani’s name.
The sessions court said considering the fact that Khemani is a tenant, there was absolutely no need for anybody to get the electric meter transferred in his name. “By doing such an act, nobody except the accused was going to be benefited. The fact that the accused (Khemani) is not the owner of the flat in question gives rise to suspicion against the accused which has not been properly explained,“ the sessions court said.
Credits ET Realty