Court to hear Sh900 million land case in two weeks

Accused faces charges of forcible detainer, forgery and conspiracy to defraud

In Summary

•Megvel Cartons director accused of forging two grant documents signed by the commissioner of lands 

•Lands court last January ruled that the parcel belonged to Diesel Care limited 

A photo of Mavoko Law Court
A photo of Mavoko Law Court

Mavoko Court has directed a case where a businessman is facing Sh900 million fraud charges to start in two weeks. 

Megvel Cartons Limited director Prasul Jayantil Shah is facing three fraud-related charges on a 22-acre dispute in Mlolongo. 

Shah was arrested two weeks ago and faced counts of forcible detainer, forgery and conspiracy to defraud. 

The land, according to the charge sheet, belongs to Diesel Care limited and without colour of right, Shah held in possession the said plot in a manner likely to cause a breach of peace. 

The particulars of the charge are in the first count, Shah is accused that on diverse dates between December 23, 2009, and January 10 at Mlolongo in Athi River, he was found in possession of land measuring 9.186 hectares (about 22.8 acres).

He is also accused of forging two grant documents purporting to be genuine and valid signed by the commissioner of lands Sammy Mwaita. 

Mavoko Senior Resident Magistrate Elvis Michieka ordered that the hearing of the case begins on April 29.

Shah was arrested on April 1 and arraigned before Michieka on the same day. He denied all the charges and was released on a Sh200,000 cash bail.

Yesterday, the trader appeared before Michieka for mention of the case when the magistrate set April 29 as the hearing date.

Machakos Environment and Land High Court Judge Oscar Angote had last year on January 29, ruled that the land belonged to Diesel Care limited while declaring the title held by Shah as null.

The judge further issued a permanent injunction restraining the Megvel Cartons Limited from remaining upon, selling, allocating, or interfering with the quiet and peaceful possession or ownership of the parcel.

The dispute dates back to July 11, 2011, when Diesel Care sued Shah seeking a permanent injunction to restrain him from entering or remaining on the land, and damages for trespass.

Through their lawyer, they argued that the land was allotted to a couple who in September 1999,  subsequently sold and transferred it to them in 2001 for a consideration of Sh6 million.

Shah filed a defence and counterclaim contending that the registration was fraudulent, as the property was surrendered to the government to change its purposes from agricultural to industrial use. 

Megvel applied before the trial court for a stay of execution of the decree pending filing, hearing and determination of the intended appeal. 

Last year on March 9, the company filed an application, seeking to maintain their ownership pending the appeal they had submitted on the ruling. 

The judge decided that the diesel company had proved, on a balance of probabilities, the validity of their title while the applicant had failed to establish.  .

An appeal court granted Shah stay orders pending the determination of their appeal.

(Edited by R.Wamochie)