Complainant Jaideo Kalyani
Complainant Jaideo Kalyani

Akela

ABI Impact: THE three-time Member of Legislative Assembly (MLA) from Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) in Ulhasnagar, Sital K Harchandani has been booked by Thane police for allegedly cheating the state government. Along with Harchandani five others members from the trust’s committee have also been booked into the matter.

On May 5, 2014 ABI (abinet.org) has published an article under headline, “former BJP MLA cheats Govt, Police refused to file FIR.”

On November 18, 2014 Thane Nagar police in Thane registered FIR under sections 420, 467, 468, 471 and 34 of IPC against Harchandani, Bachcho Roopchandani, Dr Manohar Makhija and Gauri Shewale, where Harchandani is the Chariman, Roopchandani is the Deputy-Chairman, Makhija is the Joint-Secretary and Shewale is the Principal of the trust. The complaint has been filed by Zilla Parishad’s District Social Welfare Officer (DSWO) Bhanudas Yeshwant Sankhe.

Sital Harchandani, a three-time MLA (in 1975, 1980 and 1985) from Ulhasnagar is a Chairman of Sai Baba Education Trust (SBED) and also Chairman of Navjeevan Co-operative bank.

According to FIR (copy available with ABI) under Sai Baba Education Trust Harchandani runs a school for mentally retired children. As per Maharashtra P.W. manual rules No 369 that trust (mentally challenged) should be run under legal structure. The trust is supposed to submit a certificate from the public works department (PWD), which surveys the structure. The Navjeevan tower, Ulhasnagar-3 where from SBET is being run is illegal.

The scam

Harchandani fabricated rent certificates of the signature of deputy divisional engineer, PWD and submitted it to the Social Welfare Department, on the basis of which he claimed (received) reimbursement of the rent of Rs 4, 52,500 between 2006 to 2011.

The scam was exposed by Jaidev S Kalyani a social worker from Ulhasnagar through right to information (RTI). In an RTI query on July 6, 2012, the deputy divisional engineer, Thane replied (copy available with ABI) that after verifying the office documents it has been found that the department has not issued any rent certificate.

On repeated complaints of Kalyani on October 10, 2013 DSWD official S M Tadvi passed order to register criminal complaint against Harchandani and others.

The DSWD officials also authorized (copy available with ABI) to its officer Rohini More to register FIR. More is a woman but two times she approached Central Police in Ulhasnagar from Thane with related documents to register FIR but officials clearly refused to do so. Fed up DSWD official registered FIR at Thane Nagar police station.

“Police has registered FIR but it not seems to arrest the accused,” said Kalyani.

The officials speak

Despite repeated attempts Sital Harchandani was not available for comment due to network problem. He disconnected call saying “Hello-Hello.”
“We are (all accused) have been granted anticipatory bail,” said Bachcho Rupchandani.

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