The Vikhroli Park Site police on October 13 arrested Dhanista Group Builders and Developers’ promoter Devidas Rao, and three others from Shirdi after sessions court rejected their anticipatory bail last week and the High Court did not provide immediate relief.
Rao, his son Tejasvi, daughters Nandita and Sowparnika, and Dhanista Developers’ employee Bhavana Menon had approached the Bombay High Court for interim protection from arrest on October 12.
However, the court orally granted interim protection only to Sowparnika after her advocate told the court that she had delivered a baby just a few months ago. Justice Prakash D Naik adjourned the matter for hearing to October 17.
According to police sources, the family went missing from their residence in Ghatkopar West. A police team travelled to Shani Shingnapur temple town but failed to find them there. On October 13, the police managed to locate Rao and his family in Shirdi and took them in custody. Rao, Tejasvi, Nandita, and Bhavana were arrested, and produced before the Bhoiwada holiday court on October 14. They were remanded in police custody till October 17.
The accused were booked by the Vikroli Park Site police on March 6 this year on charges of cheating, and breach of trust under IPC and Section 4 of Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA) based on a complaint by a group of home buyers.
The developer moved the Sessions court for anticipatory bail and assured the court that the buyers would be refunded their money. The court continued extending the interim protection for nearly seven months, but on October 6, Additional Sessions Judge MT Amin rejected their plea.
According to the FIR, Dhanista Developers accepted more than 20 percent of flat cost from buyers who booked flats in Dhanista Allure in Mulund, Dhanista Gardenia in Powai and Dhanista Sunshine in Ghatkopar, but failed to construct either of the three projects. The total amount collected by the developer is pegged at Rs 6.30 crore from 37 buyers who have joined the FIR.