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Astrologer accused of cheating ex-judge first came on cop radar for duping Mumbai bizman off Rs 10 crore

The accused astrologer, identified as 52-year-old Yuvaraj Ramadas, moved in political and administrative circles, claiming to have contacts in high places in Delhi.

Written by Johnson T A | Bengaluru |
Updated: January 18, 2021 8:41:50 am
ANTI-Narcotics Cell, Mumbai ANTI-Narcotics Cell, ANC seizes marijuana, mephedrone, Mumbai news, indian express newsShaikh was booked under sections of the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act.

An astrologer, who was arrested last month for duping a retired Karnataka High Court judge of Rs8.27 crore by claiming to get her a high-placed government job through his political connections, first came on the radar of the Bengaluru crime branch police in 2019 for allegedly cheating a Mumbai businessman, who is known to be closely acquainted with a former BJP MP from the state.

The accused astrologer, identified as 52-year-old Yuvaraj Ramadas, moved in political and administrative circles, claiming to have contacts in high places in Delhi. While the latest to fall victim to his fraud was retired high court judge BS Indrakala, he had duped many before and was first investigated at the behest of the former legislator in connection with a cheating case worth nearly Rs 10 crore, police sources said.

The crime branch police began probing Ramadas, alias Swami alias Sevalal, after receiving a letter in December 2019 from Shashikanth Bondre, the Mumbai businessman, claiming he was cheated to the tune of Rs 10 crore. The matter reached Bengaluru sessions court, which twice granted him anticipatory bail in June and December, 2020. The astrologer had moved the sessions court for anticipatory bail, fearing arrest even though no formal case had been registered against him in connection with the cheating claim.

The businessman claimed that he was advised by the directors of Shaila Club and Resorts Ltd, a Mumbai firm, to get in touch with the astrologer, adding that he paid him Rs 10 crore in 2015-’16 to settle a “property dispute”. However, he neither resolved the dispute nor returned the money, the trader claimed.

According to records available with the registrar of companies, the Shaila Club and Resorts Ltd is linked to the family of BJP leader Prabhakar Kore, who was a Rajya Sabha MP from Karnataka between 2008-2020. He failed to clinch renomination last year.

“The complainant (Bondre) had some property in Mumbai and had given the same to some business on certain terms and conditions. The person in possession continued to do business and he is occupying the property illegally without licence. The petitioner (Yuvaraj) assured the complainant he could get the property back and he (Bondre) introduced the petitioner to the directors of Shaila Club Pvt. Ltd., but they refused to deal with the petitioner. In turn, they authorised the complainant (Bondre) to deal with the petitioner (Yuvaraj) in that matter,” the sessions court said in its bail order on December 30, 2020, quoting a letter written by Bondre to DCP (Crime-2) on December 24, 2019.

According to the order, the astrologer demanded Rs 10 crore in cash from the complainant to settle the dispute. “Accordingly, the said amount was paid in five instalments with initial sum of Rs 2 crore, which was paid to his wife at his residence, Rs 3 crore was paid to the petitioner on 24.12.2015 at Coffee Day, Sadashivanagar, Rs.2 crore was paid to the petitioner at Coffee Day, the 4th instalment of Rs 2 crore was paid to the petitioner at Coffee Day on 29.11.2015 and the last instalment was paid on 25.01.2016 at Coffee Day,” the sessions court order stated.

It was alleged that the astrologer did not pay the money that Bondre gave him to the person whom the businessman wanted removed from the property. The sessions court granted anticipatory bail to the astrologer in June and December 2020 on the grounds that the complaint was vague as it did not specify where and how Bondre met him. This despite the businessman claiming to have met the petitioner on a Mumbai-Bengaluru flight.

“Further, the name of the businessman and the boundaries and the number of premises in which the business is carried by a person, who is proposed to vacate the premises on receipt of Rs 10 crores is also not specifically stated,” the sessions court order said.

Sources in Karnataka Police said the former BJP MP brought the case against the astrologer through associates. The alleged cheating case pertained to a promise to deliver a central ministry to the MP. But it wasn’t fulfilled, sources said.

The former MP, when contacted, said he had nothing to do with the cheating complaint lodged by Bondre with the Bengaluru police. “I have no association with the case,” the former MP said. He, however, added that he knew the businessman.

“On a complaint that a person named Yuvaraj falsely claimed to know some important persons and cheated people on the promise that he could get them government jobs or have files cleared, an FIR was registered. CCB obtained a search warrant for Yuvaraj and raided his house. During the search, Rs 26 lakh in cash and cheques worth Rs 91 crore issued in the accused’s name were seized,” Bengaluru joint commissioner of police (crime) Sandeep Patil said after the astrologer’s arrest in December 2020 in connection with one of the cheating cases against him.

Ahead of his arrest on December 7, 2012, the astrologer had filed a writ petition in the Karnataka high court against Bondre, Bengaluru police and the income tax department in connection with the investigation into the Rs 10 crore cheating complaint.

After the raid on the astrologer’s residence on December 16, 2020 and his subsequent arrest, it was learnt that he had duped the retired high court judge of Rs 8.27 crore on the promise of getting her high post in the government.

The retired judge filed a complaint on December 21, 2020 saying she was cheated by Yuvaraj, who claimed to have access to top leaders in Delhi and said he could get her a big government post.

After the arrest of the astrologer and self-styled power broker, several other incidents of fraud by him have come to light. Narasimha Swamy, a 65-year-old doctor, filed a complaint with the Annapoorneshwari Nagar police station on December 24, saying he had been cheated off Rs 30 lakh by Yuvaraj on the promise of getting his son a government job through highly-placed contacts in the BJP and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS). The transactions for the deal allegedly took place between October 2019 and November 2020, according to the FIR.

Two more cheating cases against the astrologer were filed at High Grounds police station in Bengaluru in December 2020 by businessmen Gururaj Ravi and Anandha Kumar Kola. These two cases involve cheating to the tune of over Rs 6 crore, sources said.

In 2011, Yuvaraj, along with two others, were accused of duping D Philip Raj, a Bangalore resident, of Rs 25 lakh on the promise of putting him on the board of the National Textile Corporation.

Earlier, in 2002-03, he was accused of duping a medical aspirant off Rs 4.25 lakh by falsely claiming to have obtained approval for creating a dental college.

Despite multiple cheating cases against his name, Yuvaraj was a popular figure in power circles and was courted by several politicians and even top policemen on account of his claims of high connections in power circles, police sources said.

Going through his personal belongings, the police have found several pictures of him in the company of top politicians in Karnataka and Delhi. Some of the pictures have found their way to local television channels and social media sites.

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