DOJ junks suit vs. Fil-Indian bizman, 6 others over inheritance row

By Benjamin Pulta

November 21, 2023, 8:38 pm

MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed falsification of public documents charges against a prominent Filipino-Indian businessman that was filed by his estranged brother over inherited property from their billionaire father.

In a 20-page resolution issued by Assistant State Prosecutor Eric Oprias dated October 26 but only made public on Tuesday, prosecutors found a lack of probable cause to elevate before the courts the case against Rajiv Chandiramani, his mother Pushpa and five others.

Likewise cleared were Rajiv’s business associates Janet de Luna Cardinal, Maria Anita Turqueza, Rommel Olayber, Christina Gutierrez and Angelito Manuel.

The complaint was filed by Amith Prem Chandiramani who accused the respondents of conspiring to effect the illegal transfer of several properties and business interests worth billions of pesos to Rajiv that were lawfully willed to him by their father Prem, before he passed away on December 26, 2011.

Amith said he has learned that the illegal transfer and eventual sale of the properties started sometime in 2018, or seven years after his father’s death.

In its resolution, the DOJ cited Amith’s failure to disclose in his complaint-affidavit that sometime in July 2022, he previously filed a similar complaint for falsification of public documents against Rajiv, their mother, and several other respondents before the Office of the Prosecutor (OCP) of Makati City involving the sale and mortgage of real properties that were the subject of the case.

It also noted that Amith failed to disclose that the OCP-Makati City already issued a resolution on August 17, 2022 which deemed his complaint withdrawn after he executed an affidavit of desistance praying for the withdrawal or dismissal of his complaint.

Rajiv earlier said he agreed to a compromise with Amith to keep the peace between them.

The DOJ resolution pointed out that the compromise agreement provided a waiver and quitclaim covering any and all potential claims or rights against each other arising from, or in connection with the cases, as well as the estate of their late father.

The DOJ also noted that Amith received millions of pesos from Rajiv, apart from the fact that the latter bound himself to support Amith in the amount of PHP600,000 monthly until the total amount of payments reached PHP150 million.

The DOJ likewise cited that Amith never denied receiving millions from Rajiv upon the execution of their compromise agreement and the monthly support of PHP600,000.

“The compromise agreement agreed into by Amith and Rajiv was in the nature of an extrajudicial compromise agreement. Perusal of the same shows that it contains all the elements of a valid contract. Likewise, it has been mutually agreed upon by Amith and Rajiv without any act of force, fraud or undue intimidation,” the DOJ said.

“By his (Amith) own admission, action and declaration that he recognizes the validity of transfers of the subject real properties, including the fact that the transfers were made with his knowledge and consent, his claim of falsification is effectively negated,” it added. (PNA)