Rs 700-cr land grab case against Asaram Bapu

MUMBAI: Asaram Bapu, the self-styled godman who has been in the news for his controversial remarks on the Delhi gang-rape victim, has now landed into another soup with the Serious Fraud Investigating Office seeking to prosecute him in an alleged Rs 700-crore land grab case.

The SFIO has charged that the godman has been involved in grabbing 200 acres of land in Ratlam (Madhya Pradesh). The land is along the Delhi-Pune freight corridor in Madhya Pradesh and belongs to Jayant Vitamins Ltd, but it was allegedly ‘grabbed’ in the year 2000 by the godman and his son, Narayan Sai.

Jayant Vitamins, which was delisted on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 2004 for not paying listing fees, was a notable player in the glucose and vitamin supply market.

Although the company itself did not make any complaint against Asaram Bapu, a company shareholder raised the issue of mismanagement of JVL’s properties. It was following this complaint that the SFIO looking into the matter since 2010.

The SFIO has sought prosecution on Asaram Bapu and his son under the Indian Penal Code and the Companies Act 1956. It has also made such a recommendation to the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.