Updated: October 13, 2021 1:42:17 am
The Gujarat High Court has dismissed a plea of a trustee of the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust that sought its intervention to register an FIR for the alleged theft of valuables to the tune of Rs 45 crore. Dismissing the plea, the court has, in its order dated September 29, awarded the petitioner the liberty to approach the magisterial court concerned.
The trust owns and runs the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai and a smaller unit in Palanpur in Gujarat.
The petitioner, Prashant Mehta, grandson of late Kirtilal Mehta–the settlor of the trust– and son of Kishor and Charu Mehta–who were subsequently declared the founder/permanent lifetime trustees of the trust after Kirtilal’s demise, has alleged loot of valuables worth more than Rs 45 crore, including jewellery, silverware, coloured diamonds from the collection of the Maharaja of Baroda, purportedly looted from the Palanpur hospital unit premises in 2019.
In a press conference on October 6 in Ahmedabad, Prashant had alleged the loot from a vault at Mani Bhuvan, where the hospital’s Palanpur unit is situated, took place in 2019 when “unlawful trustee members” and others had “sent some persons for the renovation of the building”. The said persons had then broken the safe/vault and taken away all the articles. However, Prashant was apprised of the loot only in August this year. He has named family members and others as accused in the petition.
Relying on earlier Supreme Court precedents and as pointed out by the additional public prosecutor, the court of Justice Ilesh Vora held that the petitioner has a remedy available under the Criminal Procedure Code wherein he could approach the magistrate concerned who, in turn, can direct for an investigation.
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