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EOW arrests trustee for cheating developer in redevelopment scam

The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of city police has arrested the trustee of a public charitable trust who allegedly connived with other trustees and cheated a developer of Rs 21 crore on the pretext of jointly redeveloping a property.Complainant Javed Hussain who runs Reliable Investment and Developers spent Rs 15 crore to settle existing tenants based on agreement with the trustee.

The arrested person has been identified as Nasli alias Bunny Batliwala (49), a trustee of HIMS Botawala Charitable Trust.The charitable trust established under Maharashtra Public Trusts Act-1950 works towards providing aid for medical treatment, education, and welfare of poor, deprived and orphans. It has two properties, Calcutta confectionery works and Sitladevi Industrial Estate in Mahim and Nicole, and Richardson building at Hornimal Circle in South Mumbai.

There were several gala owners in these buildings which were not paying rents and were running illegal businesses. The trust had given Mahim Property on lease in 1958 for 40 years. In 1997 the then trustees made an agreement that Javed will take possession of galas by settling leaseholders and tenants at his own expense and in return the Botawala trust would jointly carry out the redevelopments of these plots.

Javed in his FIR alleged that in 2010 he started taking possession of the galas by compensating 21 out of 40 gala owners by paying Rs 21 crore. In 2013 the trust passed a resolution that the Mahim property will be jointly redeveloped with Javed’s Reliable Investment. However, in 2018 the trust without his consent or knowledge sold the property to Badri Infraprojects for Rs 28 crore, his complaint said. Similarly in Nicole and Richardson building at Horniman circle too, Javed settled the gala owners and paid Rs 2.59 crore to trustee Nasli Batliwala and Shamim Botawala who allegedly did not deposit the money in the trust’s account.

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