Bail plea of Karunanidhi's kin dismissed in land grab case

The Principal Sessions Court, on Monday, dismissed the bail plea filed by V M Uma Maheshwari, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s kin, who was recently arrested on land grab charges.

Published: 24th September 2013 08:05 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th September 2013 08:05 AM   |  A+A-

The Principal Sessions Court, on Monday, dismissed the bail plea filed by V M Uma Maheshwari, DMK chief M Karunanidhi’s kin, who was recently arrested on land grab charges.  Counsel for Uma Maheshwari had argued that she had been in custody for over 25 days and the case itself was a fabricated one. The petitioner was in no way connected to the case.

Making his submissions, the State Public Prosecutor, S Shanmugavelayudham, said the defacto complainant, A S Ethis Gupta, was the treasurer of M/s Addepalli Kandaswamy Chetty Charitable trust, which possessed land to the extent of over 20 grounds in Nungambakkam.  There was a temple in the land which was being maintained through the rent collected from tenants. However, in due course, much of the land was encroached by the tenants who refused to pay the prescribed rent.

In 2006, Uma Maheshwari offered to buy land to the extent of 14 grounds and remove the encroachments.

Among the allegations made by the complainant was that the MoU entered with Uma Maheshwari’s firm Annai Enterprises had mentioned the sale of 14 grounds of the property whereas the sale deed drawn extended the area to 15.68 grounds.

She had to pay a sum of Rs 2.10 crore for the transaction, an amount she initially failed to raise. She then approached Orchid Foundation Pvt Limited, a real estate company of which she became a director, for purchasing the trust property.

The SPP said only Rs 1.72 crore of the Rs 2.10 crore was paid to the trust. Immediately after the transaction, Uma Maheshwari allegedly threatened the sellers and extorted an amount of Rs 1.50 crore for evicting the encroachers from the property.  In essence, the SPP argued that the trust got a meagre Rs 22 lakh for properties worth almost Rs 26 crore. This was proved by the fact that immediately after the purchase of the land, it was mortgaged and several crore were raised by Uma Maheshwari and other accused in the case. A portion of the land purchased fraudulently was also sold for over Rs 4 crore.

Therefore, given that the investigation in the case was on and the fact that the accused had political clout, giving her bail would lead to tampering of evidence, the SPP said.  Passing orders, the judge said the allegation that within a week from payment of Rs 1.7 crore, the accused extorted Rs 1.50 crore from the complainant was a matter to be investigated. Pending the investigation, the court was not inclined to set the accused at large. Therefore, the bail plea was dismissed.


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