November 1, 2021 4:19:54 am
After a court in Palanpur of Banaskantha ordered the police to lodge an FIR, 14 persons, including trustees of the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, were booked for alleged theft of valuable antique gold ornaments worth Rs 45 crore, belonging to the erstwhile royal family of Baroda. The ornaments were kept in a safe locker at Palanpur-based Mani Bhuvan building. The Lilavati Medical Trust runs the Lilavati Hospital in Mumbai as well.
According to police, an FIR was lodged at Palanpur East police station on Saturday night at the behest of the complainant Prashant Kishore Mehta (49), a resident of Mumbai in Maharashtra, and grandson of Lilavati and Kirtilal Mehta and also one of the trustees of the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust.
The accused are Rashmi Mehta, his son Bhavin Mehta, Chetan Mehta, Niket Mehta, Sushila Mehta, Ayushman Mehta and Nanik Rupani, who are sitting trustees of the Lilavati Kirtilal Mehta Medical Trust, along with Rekha Sheth, S Lakshminarayan, Sanjay Pandey, RK Jain, Kumarbhai Patel and Vikrambhai (deceased) and Prabodh Mehta (deceased). They have been booked under Indian Penal Code section 406 for criminal breach of trust and 380 for theft and 120b for criminal conspiracy.
On September 29, Prashant Mehta moved the Gujarat High Court, claiming that police were refusing to lodge an FIR against the trustees for the theft. The HC had disposed of his petition and given oral directions to approach lower court and on October 28 a court in Palanpur ordered that the FIR be lodged under Code of Criminal Procedure.
“The medical trust has been established by complainant’s father Kirtilal Mehta in 1978 in Mumbai. A building named Mani Bhuvan located near Delhi gate in Palanpur was established under the name of Lilavati Mehta in which a charitable hospital functioned and it is the ancestral property of the complainant,” the FIR stated.
“When the Mani Bhuvan building was being constructed, the complainant’s grandfather Kiritlal Mehta created a safe vault attached to the walls in of the rooms and kept various antique gold and silver ornaments as well as antique utensils belonging to the King of Baroda. The total valuation of the antique valuables is around Rs 45 crore,” it added.
“The accused Dinesh Bhai, Vikram Bhai (deceased) and Kumar Patel were entrusted with the safety of the vault and the three were working under S Lakshminarayan. On September 8, when I visited the Palanpur-based Mani Bhuvan, I found the safe open and valuables missing. On enquiring, the complainant found that the accused trustees had broke open the safe and taken the articles inside,” the FIR stated.
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