Famed car designer Dilip Chhabria was recently released on bail after being under arrest for almost four months on multiple criminal charges. The founder of the automotive design firm DC Design has now released a statement in an attempt to explain his side of the story. Chhabria blames a conspiracy by “some conniving partners and authorities” for all the cases against him.
- Chhabria is fighting three court cases
- He blames a conspiracy by his business partners and authorities
- His projects will now fall under the ‘DC2’ corporate structure
Charges against Dilip Chhabria
Dilip Chhabria was arrested by the Mumbai Police in December 2020 on charges of fraudulent financing and forgery. As per media reports, his company was accused of buying multiple units of the DC Avanti sports car it produced, and securing loans for the same from Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs), which it did not intend to repay. The cars were then sold off to unsuspecting customers.
Soon after, the designer was reportedly sued by comedian Kapil Sharma for not delivering his vanity van, worth over Rs 5 crore, and instead seeking further payment for cost overruns in the project. News reports suggest that a third case is pending against Chhabria for owing crores to a component supplier.
Dilip Chhabria’s stand
In his statement, Chhabria pins the blame on his “ex-partner and co-investor in DC Designs Pvt. Ltd. (DCDPL), namely Mr Kiran Mulchand, who had a controlling 52 percent share in the said company”. He mentions that Mulchand had assured an infusion of Rs 150 crores in DCDPL to help the company manufacture sports cars.
He continues, “Mr Kiran Mulchand, after acquiring the position of Director in DCDPL, sold four Avanti cars to himself in 2016 under the supervision of erstwhile CFO Mr Afaq Sayeed, whom he appointed. Thereafter, the CFO, under the instructions of Kiran Mulchand, hypothecated these four cars to an NBFC, along with some other cars of DCDPL.”
Chhabria claims that this was done because Mulchand “intended to renege from his promise of infusing Rs 150 crores and use the dual hypothecation as leverage”.
Later, when DC Design had to go into an insolvency resolution process (IRP) due to “several instances of mismanagement”, Chhabria says he realised that Mulchand had no intentions of saving the company and had cheated him. So he filed a criminal complaint with the Mumbai Police against Mulchand and “his acolyte of 25 years, Mr Inder Ramani”.
“Inder Ramani and his company A.K. Associates, being the purchase agents of DCDPL, failed miserably in adhering to supplies of components per purchase order terms, causing a massive pile-up of incomplete cars inventory, apart from customer ire and brand fogging, thus losing Rs 26 crore in 4 months,” he continues.
Thereafter, the designer claims that Mulchand and Ramani “approached Mr Sachin Waze of Mumbai Police, who in collusion with these people concocted a fabricated story of a dual hypothecation scam of more than Rs 100 crore.” For reference, Assistant Police Inspector (API) Waze has been in the news lately for his alleged involvement in numerous cases, including the bomb scare outside industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s residence, as well as bribery by BARC (Broadcast Audience Research Council) officials. Chhabria also names ex-Mumbai Police Commissioner, Param Bir Singh, in the conspiracy.
He goes on to say that “extortion demands were made by Sachin Waze” and fellow API Riyaz Kazi to the tune of “an amount ranging from Rs 10-25 crores which was negotiated again and again with me”.
On the front of his dispute with Kapil Sharma, Chhabria mentions that the above co-conspirators “roped in the noted comedian and turned his contractual dispute with me into a criminal case to aggravate the propagation of scandal”.
The truth of all of Chhabria’s claims will be tested in court, where proceedings of the cases against him are pending.
Future of DC Design
Commenting on the future of his career in designing, Dilip Chhabria says, “I still stand strong and proud to put India on the map of automotive design by developing iconic models for leading brands.” He goes on to mention that the company’s projects will now be “under the ‘DC2’ corporate structure, which is 100 percent owned by my family and therefore not subject to any disruption going forward.”