The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Asked for 50 crore, Shah pays 77 crore

Mumbai, Aug. 29: After the authorities took nearly two days to verify film financier Bharat Shah’s security deposits — he gave a whopping Rs 76.97 crore instead of the Rs 50 crore asked by the court — he was allowed to fly to Belgium for the weddings of his nephew and niece.

Contrary to speculation that Shah would not be allowed the respite, the special court under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act looking at the film financier’s alleged links with the underworld permitted him to leave the county for seven days.

Shah said in his affidavit that had the court given him more time, he could have furnished “even more property’’.

When the Supreme Court sanctioned Shah’s leave, it had asked for a surety of Rs 50 crore. Shah has deliberately paid much more than that.

The government assessor began evaluating his property papers on Tuesday morning and finished only last night.

It took so long for the authorities to value the sureties deposited with the court and go through the documents that Shah missed his morning flight today. He will be flying out at 2 am tomorrow morning.

Shah, who had to file an affidavit in the special court saying the properties were listed in his name and they could be confiscated and sold if he failed to return after the seven days, said to show his commitment towards returning, he could have handed more property to the court.

Shah has submitted the additional security to “show his bona fides’’, his lawyer Vibhav Krishna said.

In what could be an indication of Shah’s wealth, the diamond merchant has deposited papers of six flats in Andheri’s plush Dheeraj Apartments, four flats in Juhu, 11,000 square-metre of land in Juhu, 60,000 square-metre in Mira Road and 45 gallas (small eateries) in Plaza Panchsheel, Gamdevi.

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