An FIR has been registered in Mumbai against Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL) and its directors Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan for allegedly duping an investor of Rs 1 crore.
According to the FIR, a copy of which is with The Indian Express, the firm and its directors have been booked on charges of cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy.
Earlier this month, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) had registered a case against DHFL and Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan for allegedly defrauding the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – the government’s housing scheme for the poor – of hundreds of crores of rupees by opening fake loan accounts and claiming government subsidy.
In the latest complaint, as per the FIR lodged at MRA Marg police station, Rommel Rodrigues, a former journalist and author, had invested Rs 1 crore as fixed deposit for 10 years with the DHFL in December 2016. Two years later in December 2018, the complainant learnt that the promoters of DHFL allegedly defrauded the company and were facing investigations from various agencies.
In January 2019, Rodrigues approached DHFL and asked them to return his money. In his complaint, Rodrigues has alleged he learnt his funds had been diverted by DHFL and he would not get his money back. After “pursuing the matter with DHFL for months”, Rodrigues approached the Mumbai Police in October 2020.
In January 2021, the MRA Marg police recorded his statement but no further action was taken. Rodrigues said, “The investigating officer told me the matter is pending with RBI so please approach the RBI. I told them to invoke sections of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID) but they refused to do so. Then in January this year, I went to the janta darbar of home minister Anil Deshmukh but he did not meet me. His office took my letter but I got no reply on it.”
Finally, in February, he approached the magistrate court in Ballard Pier and on March 6, the court ordered the MRA Marg police station to register an FIR. The police lodged the FIR on March 25.
“There are 77,000 investors like me who have lost their hard-earned money in the company. Some investors came to me. I told them to approach the local police and lodge an FIR. Now, the Mumbai Police should investigate the case thoroughly and give justice to poor investors who are in deep financial crisis. Many investors do not have the means to bear the legal expenses and so the state should help them,” said Rodrigues.