Afternoon D & C Dedicated To Mumbai


Friday, February 09, 2018
By Dev Kotak

FIR against landlord, family; police continue 'investigating'

Carolyn Correa, a widow, formerly living at St Paul Road in Bandra, lost her house after the new owner, Terrence Coutinho, came and bought over the bungalow from the previous owner and forged documents to leave the elderly woman homeless.

Correa, who used to lived in Sheltry bungalow as a tenant since 1965, alleges that it is a ploy by Coutinho and his family to evict her.

“I even have proof to show that I have lived here throughout, with the rent receipts and electricity bills They are the landlords (pagdi system), but how can they just evict me and forcefully occupy my property,” she says sobbing.         

The senior citizen says that Coutinho, his wife Sheela, his daughter Marilyn, their servant Samir Salim Baig and his friend Agnello Fernandes are involved in a conspiracy that brought her on  the streets in the first place. All five accused have been named in the FIR registered at Bandra police station.

Coutinho took the matter to court and there is a case going on in the Dindoshi City Civil and Sessions Court. He put a case of vacant possession and according to Correa, even made a fake surrender affidavit and (tried to establish a trail through bank account in her name which the Coutinhos used to operate) withdrew the case to show that Correa had been paid around 35 lakhs.

A friend of hers and someone aware with the unfolding of the case, affirmed that the Coutinhos used to operate the bank account by themselves. A fake account in the 65-year-old lady's name was created in Axis Bank at their Mahim branch.

“They used her documents to open an account in her name. The servant and Countinhos, on some or the other pretext of telling her about the light bill or some other documents would make her sign. Aunty doesn't even remember when she signed on it, they tricked her into signing on a blank document. Her Pan card and Aadhaar were used,” says the friend who wished to remain unnamed.   

When the unfortunate incident took place she was in Goa to attend a relative's funeral.

“These guys came while I was away and forcefully occupied my house and later sealed it. When I came I saw there were wooden planks put against my door and there was no way I could enter,” an irritated Correa disclosed.

Inside her locked/sealed home, there was  Rs18,000 in cash, gold worth 5 lakhs and other valuables and belongings. Without a house she was pushed on to the roads.      

“When I left for Goa I had put a lock, but when I came back that lock was broken. There were planks against my door and in the inside of the house too, with the whole structure of my house was changed. This man (Terrence) has put me on the road. I live sometimes inside Bhabha hospital. I am really depressed because I have to do all this as I have lost my house,” she says sounding hopeless.

The Coutinhos had submitted a document in court, bearing notary officer AN Pande's seal and signature which made it look like he had approved of it and given the final nod. However all of this was a lie and full fledged plan to get Correa out of her house. Pande too, in a letter (in possession with ADC) submitted to Bandra Police Station claimed that someone with a vested interest in the matter, has forged and fabricated the seal and signature for tampering with the document in question.  

It only reflects the mentality and the seriousness with which the police officials continue to take the case, condition and the plight of a helpless and homeless lady. The incident took place in February in 2017, but the FIR was only registered on January 29 (in the previous month) this year. It took the cops 11 months to file a complaint, that remained unheard for so long, despite sufficient evidence against the accused as they refrained from acting against them. No panchnama has been conducted, neither has any one  been arrested yet.

Her friend says “It's been so many months already, but they say we will investigate. What is left now for them to still probe? There is so much evidence, but they still have taken no action against anyone. Terrence is a powerful man so he is putting pressure. Hence the police are not acting and taking the investigations really slow. The cops do not allow us to enter our own house. They say get the order from the court to enter or we will file a case against you. The police have connived with these guys.”

The FIR was taken only after the Zone IX DCP intervened and the case file was changed and given to another officer.    

Vijay Belge, Police Inspector, Administration and Investigating Officer (IO) refused to divulge any details of this case. When quizzed as to why action was delayed, he said “A FIR has been filed and appropriate investigations will take place, but I cannot tell you anything beyond this. If you wish to seek more details please speak to the Senior Inspector.”

The five persons named in the FIR have been booked under sections 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 465 (Punishment for forgery), 467 (Forgery of valuable security, will), 468 (Forgery for purpose of cheating), 471 (Using as genuine a forged document), 506 (Punishment for criminal intimidation), 120(b) (Punishment of criminal conspiracy), 34 (criminal act done by several persons with common intention) of the IPC.

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