A complaint has been filed against a couple involved in a real estate development business by Bollywood actress Karishma Tanna’s husband Varun Bangera and actor/TV presenter Samir Kochhar. They allege that Pronit Nath and Amisha Nath defrauded them of Rs 1.3 crore.
According to Samir Kochhar, the individuals misled him by pretending to sell apartments and defrauded him of 58.50 lakhs, as well as 44.66 lakhs for his friend Varun Bangera.
On October 21, 2023, charges were filed under Indian Penal Code sections 409 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating and dishonesty), and 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy).
According to the FIR, businessman Samir Kochhar, residing in JVPD, Andheri West, along with his wife Radhika Kochhar and friend Varun Bangera, were searching for properties in December 2020. During their search, they came across Pronit Nath and Amisha Nath who had intentions of constructing a four-floor building in Pali Village, Bandra West and selling it later. Upon visiting the site, which was initially just empty land, the Karishma Tanna’s husband Varun Bangera and Samir Kochhar met with Pronit Nath who showed them a building map outlining their plans. Afterward, the couple decided to purchase a 660 sq ft flat on the third floor while Bangera chose a 750 sq ft flat on the fourth floor.
They were assured that the land was free of loans and the title was clear in a meeting later on. A cheque issued by HDFC Bank was issued on December 9, 2020, as a token amount for the Kochhar’s flat, which had been paid at 1.95 crore. The Bangeras had previously provided a cheque for 19.85 lakhs as a token amount in August 2020.
At a later time, the Kochhar couple and Bangera were surprised to find that the property they wished to buy had a loan against it.
The land had been mortgaged with a financial company. Nath assured the company on June 3, 2022, that the building would be completed within three months.
However, on June 23, 2023, via WhatsApp messages, Nath revealed that they had changed their mind and would not be selling the property after all. This news came as quite a shock to both the Kochhar couple and Bangera.
A FIR was filed in response to Nath’s communication through his lawyers in the high court, where he stated that he had already entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to sell the property. Attempting to enforce the MOU, Kochhar approached the High Court, seeking directions for Nath to fulfill the agreement. A restraining order was issued on July 26 by Justice Kamal Khata, preventing Nath from selling the flat.
On October 5, the division bench led by Chief Justice DK Upadhyaya declined to intervene or overturn the single judge’s order prohibiting Nath from transferring ownership of the disputed flat.