- Prosecution could get only 4-day PCR for Prashant Wasankar and Abhijeet Chaudhari, while Vinay Wasankar was given 2-day PCR only.
- Many Advocates spoke to the judge about their own money too which was invested with Wasankar Wealth Management
- An aged man who was weak of hearing chose to present his case against Wasankar between the hearings.
A battery of lawyers once again made their appearance before the Honourable District and Sessions Judge-2 S P Muley of the Special Court of Maharashtra Protection of Interest of Depositors (MPID).
- Accused No 1: Prashant Wasankar was represented by M B Naidu
- Accused No 2: Vinay Wasankar was represented by Shyam Dewani & Kailash Dodani
- Accused No 3: Abhijit Chaudhari was represented by A H Deshpande & Anand S Deshpande.
Nearly 14 lawyers were standing in front of the Judge, while more than 23 lawyers were present in the court to witness the proceedings. The Public Prosecutor Vishwas Deshmukh presented the case to the Judge. He said that as many as 79 complaints have been received against the accused Wasankar and his associates and the amount defrauded is said to be Rs 17.5 crore. He said that getting the statements of the investors recorded as well as verification of seized documents, questioning of the accused and the investigation is taking a long time.
The Public Prosecutor Vishwas Deshmukh said that they will need 9 more days of PCR for the accused. He added that complaints are coming from all over the country and since the matter is critical, it is time-consuming as well.
He also submitted before the esteemed Judge that the accused Prashant Wasankar and his associates had taken 80% in cash and 20 % by cheques. The Investigating Officer (IO) is investigating as where has the accused stashed his cash, where and on what has he invested the money in, what were purchased by the money etc. He said that a detailed investigation is going on. However, he stressed on the point that the 7 days PCR granted by the court was too less. He requested the Judge to kindly grant 9 more days of PCR.
However, when the Public Prosecutor Vishwas Deshmukh finished his presentation of the case, all hell broke loose and the advocates representing the accused Vinay Wasankar Adv Shyam Devani raised their objections and presented their side of the case.
They reiterated what they had said earlier too that since the Crime Branch police officials have seized all documents, computer hard drives and other incriminating material why do they need the accused for?
At this the Judge asked the Public Prosecutor Vishwas how are they going to question and investigate in 9 more days what they could not do so in 7 days PCR granted earlier. Advocate Anand Deshpande who was representing Vinay too added that there was no need for custody at all, since the police have in their possession all the incriminating evidences.
The Advocates defending Wasankar and his associates said that they took 2-3 months to arrest the accused. After that they did a search and seize operation where they seized the computer hard-drives, CDs, documents etc. Even when the accused were granted 7 days PCR, they could not get any confession.
Advocate Shyam Devani argued that the FIR does not mention anywhere that his client Vinay Wasankar is alleged to have committed any crime or was party to the crime. He has not signed any promissory notes etc. He added that the accused no 2 has no role to play in the entire fiasco.
They argued that the prosecution should satisfy the court about the need for the extension of the PCR. They added another significant point. They said that till date many of the investors who did not come to register their complaints with the Crime Branch are suddenly coming forward to lodge the complaint since they know that Wasankar and his associates are in the lock-up so they are not afraid of anything and coming forward. He added that the Prosecution had in their submission stated that Wasankar had allegedly taken 80 % in cash and only 20% by cheques. The defendant lawyers argued that these investors can quote any amount as paid in cash. Since there is no record of how much cash Wasankar had taken, they would inflate the amount. There will be no control over their charges, unless the police verify, where they got the huge sums to invest with Wasankar.
Extension of PCR not up to expectation
After much thought, the learned Judge has granted Prosecution with 4 days’ PCR for Prashant Wasankar and Abhijeet Chaudhari, while Vinay Wasankar was given 2 days’ PCR only
Advocates too made victims by Wasankar
After the prosecution and the defendants deliberations were over, when the Judge gave a five minute break for delivering his judgment, around twenty three lawyers who were standing there asked for permission to speak to the learned judge and said that there are many Advocates too who have become victims to the Wasankar’s investment fraud. The lawyer investors were led by Advocate Warsha Nerkar and Advocate Mohan Armarkar.
Investors list include 4300 number of Investors: No of complaints is 89.
While speaking exclusively with Nagpur Today, the Investigation Officer of Wasankar case, PI Dane said that based on the investigation and from data retrieved from the Lap-tops and Hard-discs/drives, the total number of investors’ stands at 4300. However, this includes investors from all over India, Dubai, UAE and USA. He added that till August 1, 2014, the number of complaints has risen to 79. The amount has gone up to Rs 17.5 crores. He said that there are around 10-12 complainant on August 2, 2014. PI Dane said that there are 11 return applications and the amount is 1.5 crores.
He said that based on the amount quoted by the complainants so far, the cash (80% of the Invested amount taken by Wasankar in cash) the amount is Rs. 17, 86, 56,570/- (nearly Rs 18 crores).