Celebrity car designer Dilip Chhabria, who was arrested by the Mumbai Police in an alleged dual car registration scam in December 2020, has claimed in a letter addressed to the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Home Minister that his business associates and Sachin Vaze framed him in the case and demanded ₹25 crore as extortion money when the jailed former policeman headed the Crime Intelligence Unit (CIU).
The police claimed that the accused’s company, DC Designs Pvt. Ltd, had allegedly taken loans from non-banking financial companies by posing as customers who wanted to purchase the company’s DC Avanti sports car. Three FIRs were filed against Mr. Chhabria: two by the CIU and one by the Economic Offences Wing.
On May 17, Mr. Chhabria filed a police complaint, in which he named former business associates Kiran Kumar, and Sayed Afaaq; another complainant Indermal Ramani; policemen Mr. Vaze, Riyaz Kazi, and Prakash Howal; and comedian Kapil Sharma for conspiring to frame him in the case. The complaint was also sent to Mumbai Commissioner of Police Hemant Nagrale, and Additional Chief Secretary (Home) Manu Kumar Srivastava.
Speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Chhabria, who is out on bail after spending nearly four months in jail, said he has sought an appointment with the top political leaders in the State government and will be presenting to them documents on how he was framed by the police and his former business partners.
“I was asked to pay ₹25 crore as extortion money or to face 15 more FIRs. I was pressured by filing three FIRs against me. In November 2020, I filed a complaint against my business partner Kiran Kumar from Chennai. But instead of taking action, I was arrested on a frivolous complaint,” he said.
In his complaint, filed through his lawyers, Mr. Chhabria said, “Sachin Vaze and Riyaz Kazi along with Prakash Howal threatened our client to give the extortion money, failing which his senior Mr. Param Bir Singh, the erstwhile Commissioner of Police, would make sure that the whole Chhabria family would die behind bars.”
Both Mr. Vaze and Mr. Kazi were arrested and dismissed from the police force for their involvement in the Antilia bomb scare case, while Mr. Singh was removed as Mumbai Commissioner of Police as a fallout of the case.
Mr. Chhabria’s complaint said the CIU summoned Mr. Sharma and forced him to file a complaint against the car designer so that he could be kept in jail for a longer time. “Work on Mr. Sharma’s vanity van was delayed because he did not answer our calls to discuss the design,” he said.
Mr. Chhabria said he sought justice for the harassment he and his family faced by those who ran the extortion racket. “My sister had secured anticipatory bail, but she was booked in a different case and arrested. I was arrested without even summons being issued to me. All I want is a fair investigation,” he said.