The Mumbai Police Crime Branch on Monday arrested car designer Dilip Chabbria in connection with the second FIR it had registered against him, in which actor-comedian Kapil Sharma is the complainant.
The police had arrested Chabbria on December 28, last year, for allegedly taking out multiple loans on the sports car he manufactured before selling them to customers.
Assistant Inspector (Crime Intelligence Unit) Sachin Vaze said, “Chabbria has been arrested in the second FIR registered against him for cheating Sharma.” He added that besides Sharma, six more complainants have approached the police with allegations against Chabbria.
Chabbria, who is in judicial custody at a school in Taloja, was brought to the magistrate court on Monday, as the police sought his custody.
Chabbria’s lawyer Vagish Mishra told the court that the new FIR was lodged at the instance of one of his business associates, who had been pressuring the car designer into agreeing to certain terms and conditions. There may be other FIRs, which have actually risen from a civil dispute, the lawyer said, adding that it has been coloured to show a criminal case to harass Chabbria.
Investigating Officer Riyaz Kazi, however, told the court that Sharma was a renowned Bollywood actor, who cannot be compelled to file a complaint for the registration of an FIR.
Chabbria was arrested initially on allegations that he had been registering some DC Avanti sports cars, designed and manufactured by his company Dilip Chabbria Designs Private Limited (DCDPL), in two states. He would then allegedly use these vehicles to get loans from non-banking financial institutions and sell them to customers without informing them about the loans. He was sent to judicial custody by a local court on January 7.
Within a few weeks of his arrest, Sharma approached the police alleging that between March and May 2017, he had paid Chabbria Rs 5.3 crore to design a vanity bus for him. As there was no progress made till 2019, Sharma approached the National Company Law Tribunal, which went on to direct that DCDPL’s bank accounts be frozen.
Last year, when Chabbria sent a bill of Rs 1.2 crore to Sharma as parking charges for the spot where the yet-to-be-completed vanity van was to be kept, the comedian approached the police. Last September, Sharma filed a complaint with the Economic Offences Wing (EOW). The EOW was conducting a preliminary enquiry (PE) when the Crime Branch arrested Chabbria last month.
Last week, the police called Sharma to record his statement, following which, the PE — registered by the EOW — was converted into an FIR on charges of criminal misappropriation and cheating.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines