A secretary in the state government’s education and sports department approached the police last week after allegedly being cheated of Rs 5 lakh on the promise of a flat in Mumbai under the chief minister’s quota. The secretary was approached by two men, Prabhakar Ingle-Patil and Devidas Karhale-Patil, in 2016. Both claimed to be related to MLA Prataprao Chikhlikar and close to a senior officer in the office of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, said the police.
In April 2016, according to her complaint, Ingle-Patil showed the secretary a paper bearing the letterhead of Union Surface Transport and Shipping Minister Nitin Gadkari, which stated that the central government would allot flats in Mumbai to 25 needy individuals chosen by Fadnavis. The chosen individuals would be required to pay for the flats in installments over 90 years, the police said quoting the complaint. A senior police officer said Ingle-Patil allegedly claimed that he had been entrusted by the CMO to deliver a list of 25 persons to Gadkari and also said 21 of those had already been chosen.
“Ingle-Patil suggested to the secretary that since there were only four more spots open, he could suggest the CMO to include her name in it,” said the official. Ingle-Patil, however, asked for Rs 10 lakh for the secretary to be allotted the flat. The police said she paid him Rs 5 lakh in April 2016 and sought more time to pay up the rest.
“When the accused suggested that the secretary sell some of her gold jewellery to raise the the rest of the money, she began to suspect his intentions. She made enquiries in the CMO and found out that no such scheme existed,” said an officer at the Marine Drive police station. The officer added that when the secretary confronted Ingle-Patil, he fled from her office in Mantralaya. After several reminders from the secretary, Ingle-Patil issued her a cheque for Rs 1 lakh but it bounced, said the police. With Ingle-Patil refusing to pay her money back, the secretary filed a case of cheating against him last week.
“We are looking for the accused and are also studying phone conversations between the complainant and the accused that she recorded on her phone in which he is heard having accepted taking her money,” said the officer.