A Pune court on Saturday granted real estate developer Deepak Sakharam alias D S Kulkarni (68), director of the DSK Group, and his wife Hemanti (58) interim protection from arrest till Tuesday. Special Judge J T Utpat granted interim protection to Kulkarni and his wife after the Pune City Police sought time from the court to submit its plea opposing the anticipatory bail application filed by the couple.
Earlier, Kulkarni was booked on the basis of a complaint by Jitendra Narayan Kulkarni (65), a depositor with his company, who had lodged an FIR at the Shivajinagar Police Station on October 28. He and his wife were booked under sections 406, 420, 34 of the Indian Penal Code, and sections of the Maharashtra Protection Of Interest of Depositors Act. Now, police have also invoked sections 409, 120 (b) (criminal conspiracy) and sections of the Prize Chit and Money Circulation Banning Act in the case.
Till now, as many 351 depositors have filed complaints against Kulkarni with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Crime Branch of Pune City Police, which is investigating the case. Kulkarni had moved court seeking anticipatory bail, and had also assured the court that he would refund all the money by March 2018. The court is likely to pass an order on the bail plea on Tuesday, when the interim protection from arrest granted to the developer comes to an end.
Lawyers Shrikant Shivde and Girish Kulkarni, who represent Kulkarni and his wife, said that the company was willing to refund the money to its depositors. The lawyers claimed that till now, the company had refunded Rs 30 crore, which includes Rs 5 crore refunded in the last month. They claimed that the refund was getting delayed because Kulkarni’s company had suffered heavy losses. “The company owns 48 lakh square feet of construction and its value is about five times more than the amount that has to be refunded to the depositors. The company has to refund Rs 209 crore to the depositors, and about 1,600 depositors have signed up for the new refund scheme,” said the lawyers.
Meanwhile, the EOW has written a letter to the Indian Banks’ Association (IBA), seeking to freeze about 70 bank accounts of D S Kulkarni in different banks. On Thursday, EOW teams had also conducted raids at five properties of D S Kulkarni, and recovered documents pertaining to the case.