Cheating case against Shilpa and husband

Troubles refuse to cease for Bollywood actress Shilpa Shetty and her husband Raj Kundra (right).

The pair have been named in a cheating case connected with a fitness venture they started.

Raj was in the news in July when he was arrested in a porn-related case. He was released on bail in September.

On Sunday, Shilpa said she was "shocked" that an attempt is being made to defame her, after Mumbai-based businessman Nitin Barai lodged a first information report (FIR) against her and her entrepreneur husband and some others for allegedly duping him of Rs1.51 crore ($275,000).

The FIR was registered on Saturday at Bandra police station. Mr Barai alleged in the complaint that in July 2014 Kashiff Khan, the director of SFL Fitness company, along with Shilpa, Raj and a few others asked him to invest Rs1.51 crore in the enterprise to earn a profit.

The businessman claimed that he was assured that SFL will provide him a franchise and open a gym and spa at Hadapsar and Koregaon in neighbouring Pune, but it did not materialise. Later, when he tried to get his money back, he was allegedly threatened.

Shilpa denied her involvement in the matter. She tweeted: "Woke up to an FIR registered in Raj and my name! Shocked! To set the record straight, SFL Fitness, a venture run by Kashiff Khan. He had taken naming rights of brand SFL to open SFL Fitness Gyms around the country. All deals were struck by him and he was signatory in banking and day-to-day affairs.

"All franchisees dealt directly with Kashiff. We are not aware of any of his transactions nor have we received a single rupee from him for the same.

"The company closed in 2014 and was entirely handled by Kashiff Khan."

Shilpa further said it was "painful" to see her goodwill in the Hindi film industry built over 28 years getting damaged.

"I have worked very hard over the last 28 years and it pains me to see that my name and reputation is getting damaged and dragged so loosely to get eyeballs. My rights as a law-abiding proud citizen in India should be protected," she said.

Khan's name had cropped up in the cruise ship drug raid case, in which Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan's son Aryan was arrested along with 19 others on Oct 2.

Nationalist Congress Party leader Nawab Malik had alleged that Khan was one of the organisers of the party on board the cruise ship.

Based on Mr Barai's complaint, the Bandra police registered the FIR under various Indian Penal Code Sections, including 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 34 (common intention). "We have registered a case on the complaint of Barai and have also recorded his full statement. We are now investigating the case and verifying all the documents and bank statements," said a Bandra police station officer.

Indo-Asian News Service


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