MUMBAI: In fresh trouble for Dilip Chhabria, a case of cheating and misappropriation of funds will be registered against the car designer and his company for allegedly duping comedian Kapil Sharma of nearly Rs 5.7 crore.
Chhabria, who was arrested on December 29 in connection with a car finance and dual registration racket, was remanded to judicial custody on Thursday. Police said after the FIR is lodged, they will seek court permission and take Chhabria’s custody in the cheating case.
In September 2020, Sharma filed a complaint with the economic offences wing (EOW) alleging that he had ordered a customised vanity van in 2017 and paid Chhabria a total of Rs 5.7 crore, but it was never delivered. In fact, Chhabria was demanding more money and even parking charges, Sharma alleged.
“Preliminary inquiry shows that it is a fit case of cheating and misappropriation of funds. We are in the process of registering the FIR,” said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of police (crime). Police recorded Sharma’s statement on Thursday.
Sharma said that after learning about Chhabria’s arrest last week, he had called up police commissioner Parambir Singh and had reminded him about his EOW complaint.
Assistant police inspector Sachin Vaze said in March 2017, Sharma had ordered the vanity van and initially paid Chhabria Rs 5.3 crore.
“In 2018, when VAT and GST came into existence, Chhabria’s company demanded Rs 40 lakh more, which Sharma paid. But the van was still not delivered,” Bharambe said. “In 2019, Sharma approached the National Company Law Tribunal which froze Chhabria’s bank account. The accused then asked Sharma to pay another Rs 60 lakh. Sharma paid the amount, but there was still no sign of the van.”
Sharma alleged that in 2020, Chhabria sent him an invoice bill of Rs 12-13 lakh for parking the yet-to-be finished van in his garage for two years. This irked him and he approached the EOW.