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Haryana

MP Poonam Mahajan slapped with three cheque bounce cases by Mumbai bizman

March 14, 2019 08:04 AM

COURTESY MIRROR MARCH 14MP Poonam Mahajan slapped with three cheque bounce cases by Mumbai bizman
BJYM president named as accused with her husband, and one other; all three were directors of a company she resigned from in 2015. So, defence lawyer claims she has no role in case as the cheques bounced in 2018
| Archana.More@timesgroup.com TWEET @Archana_Mirror

Member of Parliament (MP) Poonam Mahajan, who also heads the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) Yuva Morcha (BJYM), has been slapped with multiple cheque bouncing cases by a Mumbai-based businessman. The case harks back to her stint of over four years ago at the Aadya Motor Company Pvt Ltd, an authorised dealership of Honda City cars based out of the commercial capital. Complainant Parvinder Singh has in this case filed three cheque bouncing cases against four entities — Mahajan, her husband Vajendla Ramananand Venkateshwara Rao, another Mumbai resident Milind Surve, and the Aadya Motor Company, where the trio served as directors. The allegations are in connection with Singh’s purchase of 11 Honda City cars from the accused, as well as the repayment of short-term loan of Rs 2 crore he had given to them. Singh is the owner of Asset Auto (I) Pvt Ltd, a car dealership engaged in other allied services, which also has offices in Pune. As per his complaint, in November 2015, he decided to start his own cab service and wished to purchase cars from an authorised dealership for the same. Singh approached Aadya Motor Company and met with the directors for negotiations. Soon, he placed an order to book 11 Honda City VX-CVT cars, and on the directors’ request, paid Rs 68.75 lakh to the accused company — Rs 6.25 lakh in cash and Rs 62.50 lakh via bank transfer. After receiving this amount, the accused issued 11 receipts of acknowledgment, along with a confirmation letter from the company, signed by Rao, affirming the booking of 11 Honda City cars. This missive also mentioned that no amount or other charges would be deducted in case of cancellation of the order, and that the money would be repaid to Singh on demand on the very same day.

Singh has stated, “Despite promising the delivery of the cars immediately, all the accused kept delaying it, with many excuses. After waiting almost a month, I decided to cancel the booking and requested a refund. The accused refunded only Rs 17.50 lakh. Later, I had to constantly follow up for the rest of the amount, for more than two years.”


Finally, in March last year, the accused handed over two cheques (Nos. 742080 and 742081) for amounts of Rs 31 lakh and Rs 20.25 lakh, respectively, to refund the balance amount. But on March 12, 2018, the complainant was shocked when his bank informed him that both cheques had bounced.

Seeing this, Singh filed two separate cases of cheque bouncing against the four accused.

The problem had, however, begun even before this incident. The third case against the accused goes back to July 2015, when they had approached Singh in need of funds, asking for a short-term loan. The businessman had agreed to give them a short-term unsecured loan of Rs 2 crore for 10 months, which the accused had agreed to repay in 10 monthly instalments, together with interest at the rate of 2 per cent per month. Approving of this, the complainant had disbursed the amount through a bank transfer from his account that same month.

The accused had issued a letter requesting for the Rs 2 crore short-term loan signed by Rao, and had further handed over a certified copy of the minutes of a meeting of their board of directors held in July 2015 to Singh. Yet, in spite of their promises, the accused managed to repay only some of the initial monthly instalments to the tune of Rs 1 crore. Since December 2015, according to Singh, they did not bother to repay the outstanding Rs 1 crore.

After a follow-up of years, the accused agreed to repay the balance amount with an interest of Rs 50 lakh, and handed over a cheque of Rs 1.50 crore to the complainant at the same time as the other two cheques, in March 2018. However, this cheque also bounced due to insufficient funds.

Singh issued legal notices to all complainants and accordingly, filed criminal complaints under section 138 of the Negotiable Instruments Act against them.

Advocate Siddharth Patil, who is representing the complainant, confirmed that they have filed three cheque bounce cases in the Pune sessions court, demanding compensation. He elaborated, “In two cases, the court has issued summons, asking for an explanation from the accused. The accused then filed a revision application in these two cases, which is now pending before the court. The defence filed an application on the grounds that Mahajan had resigned from the company before the cheques bounced. But, we submitted a 2016 Bombay High Court (HC) judgment in the case of Lata Pramod Dave vs Mode Export Private Limited — in this case, the HC had held that ‘the relevant period for deciding the vicarious liability of a director for an act committed by the company is not only when a cheque has been dishonoured, but also when the disputed transaction was entered into’.”

Patil added, “Two cheques of Rs 31 lakh,and Rs 20.25 lakh, issued in March 2018, bounced in the car purchasing deal. The third cheque of Rs 1.5 crore, issued against a loan of Rs 2 crore, also bounced in the same month. Now, the next hearing of our case has been scheduled for March 15 this year.”

When Mirror contacted advocate Vinay Vyas, who represented all the accused, he informed that they have received a summons in two cases pertaining to the car purchases only, and said, “Mahajan was director of the company, but resigned from it in 2015. The cheques were issued after she resigned from directorship, so she has no role in the cheques bouncing in 2018. We have taken the same grounds in our revision application and requested the court to remove her name from the case. She has been wrongfully and mischievously added as a party in the cheque bounce case just to pressure her. As per law, this cannot be done after her resignation

 
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