On Thursday, Comedian Kapil Sharma approached the Criminal Intelligence Unit (CIU) of the Mumbai Crime Branch to file a complaint against car designer Dilip Chhabria for allegedly taking ₹5.70 crore from him and not delivering his vanity van. Police have recorded Sharma’s statement.
Joint commissioner of police Milind Bharambhe said, “We are in the process of registering a first information report (FIR) against Chhabria for cheating Sharma. We will verify the facts and investigate the case.” Another crime branch officer said that police are likely to arrest Chhabria again on Friday.
Chhabria was arrested by CIU on December 28, 2020, after police found that he and his firm, Dilip Chhabria (DC) Designs Pvt Ltd, had allegedly availed loans from some non-banking financial companies (NBFC) by posing as customers looking to buy DC sports cars. Police raided his factory in Pune and seized 14 cars and 40 engines. After his police remand ended on Thursday, Chhabria was produced in court again and was granted judicial custody for 14 days.
In his statement, Sharma said that he had approached Chhabria to design a vanity van between in 2017. Sharma paid ₹5.30 crore to Chhabria from May 2017 to May 2018, but when he found that there was no progress on his order, he approached Chhabria in July 2018, said Bharambe.
Chhabria demanded ₹40 lakh more as GST (goods and service tax) and Sharma paid the amount in July 2018. However, after a few months, there was still no development on the van. Sharma then asked for his money back, said Bharambe. Chhabria said he would deliver the van but asked for an additional ₹60lakh from Sharma. The comedian then approached the National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) in 2019, following which NCLT froze Chhabria’s account, added Bharambe.
Chhabria then sent Sharma a bill of around ₹12 lakh for parking the vehicle and keeping spare parts in the factory premises. After receiving the bill, Sharma approached the Mumbai economic offences wing (EOW) and registered a complaint. Now CIU is registering a separate case against Chhabria and will investigate the case.
Chhabria had manufactured 127 DC-Avanti cars in the past four years, of which 120 had been sold in India and abroad. The crime branch suspects that 90 of the cars were registered with the same engine and chassis number in different states, under different registration numbers.