PUNE: Hulgesh Mariappa Chalwadi of Vidyanagar, Tingrenagar, a former corporator and chairman of an international school, has been sentenced to three years' rigorous imprisonment in a cheating case for giving consent to purchase of land. Earlier, he was acquitted by a judicial magistrate's court in 2008 and the police had appealed against the acquittal in the district court.
Additional Sessions Judge KK Jahagirdar also directed him to pay a compensation of Rs 6 lakh to complainant Dadu Bhagwan Sonawane.
The case dates back to 2005, when Sonawane wanted to purchase two rooms, located in front of his house, in survey no. 163/2/D, admeasuring 1728 sq ft, which is in the name of Balu Naik and his wife Shakuntala. He was negotiating with them when Chalwadi intervened, saying he is the corporator of the area and without his permission, no transaction relating to any properties can be done. The accused Hulgesh and his accomplice called Sonawane, Balu and Shakuntala at his house and said that though the said property is not in his name, Balu and his wife Shakuntala have entered into some transaction with him and therefore, he has an interest to some extent in the said property.
"Chalwadi told me that without his permission, he cannot purchase that property. The accused persons threatened me saying that I should give money to them, otherwise they would not allow purchase of that property. Out of fear, I agreed to pay money to them," said Sonawane.
After the complainant paid Rs 13,500 to his lawyer, a stamp paper was purchased and the documents for a sale deed were prepared. The complainant issued a cross cheque of Rs 50,000 dated 19.10.2005 to the accused. Similarly, another cross cheque of Rs 2 lakh from the account of his wife, of the same date was drawn on the same bank and issued by the complainant. A third cheque of Rs 1 lakh was issued by the complainant and handed over to his lawyer for giving the same to the accused and Balu Naik. Chalwadi took both the cheques received in his name from the lawyer, but Balu Naik did not get the cheque of Rs 1 lakh.
Thereafter, a date was fixed for execution of the sale deed. But neither Chalwadi nor Balu came to the office of the sub registrar. Thereafter, the complainant requested them to execute the sale deed in his favour many times, but the accused did not execute the sale deed or repay the money.
CASE IN KHADKI COURT
Initially, the complainant approached the police but they didn't register a case. After that, in December 2006, he filed a private complaint in the Khadki cantonment court which directed the Vishrantwadi police station to investigate the case and file a report. After investigation, police filed a chargesheet against Chalwadi for offences under sections 406 (criminal breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), but the court acquitted him in 2008.
APPEAL IN DISTRICT COURT
The police appealed against Chalwadi's acquittal as there was evidence against him. The district judge observed, "The trial court failed to consider the fact of preparing a draft of sale deed and receipt of Rs 2.5 lakh by the accused. The complainant has not admitted that there is any other transaction between him and the accused. Secondly, the accused failed to establish his allegation that there is some other transaction between him and complainant, therefore, acquittal order of the trial court passed under section 420 of the IPC is not legal and correct, hence, it is liable to be set aside."
Chalwadi submitted to the court that the witnesses deposed falsely to help Sonawane. He also stated that a false case has been filed to create hurdles in his political career, etc. "The amount was meant for another transaction," Chalwadi had said in court, but the court didn't consider it.