Talks for out-of-court settlement fail for Kerala politician Thushar Vellappally arrested in UAE
Thushar Vellappally, a key ally of ruling Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was arrested last Thursday from a Dubai hotel.- Photo by Juidin Bernarrd
Dubai - Thushar is the Kerala chief of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS).
A Malayali businessman, who filed a Dh9-million dud cheque case against a politician from the south Indian state of Kerala, has said that he will continue the legal fight after prosecution negotiations failed on Monday.
Thushar Vellappally, a key ally of ruling Indian political party Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was arrested last Thursday from a Dubai hotel based on a cheating case filed by Nazil Abdulla, 38. The politician - who contested against the then Congress President Rahul Gandhi in Wayanad, Kerala, in the last Lok Sabha elections - was released on bail on Friday after his friends and well-wishers posted Dh1 million.
Abdulla told Khaleej Times: "We had our first hearing at the Ajman prosecution today. The case could not be settled because the amount Thushar's side offered did not match my demand."
Without divulging the amount he was offered, Abdulla, who claims to have worked as a sub-contractor for Thushar, said he was ready for an out-of-court settlement.
"I am ready to settle the matter any day, as long as they meet my demand," said Abdulla, who hails from Kodungallur in the Thrissur district.
An engineering graduate, Abullah claimed Thushar's now defunct Boeing Construction Company LLC based in Ajman owed him money for the sub-contracting work he did for a project in Umm Al Quwain back in 2009-10.
Abdullah said his life was a "struggle" in the last 10 years. "I lost my life, career, integrity and credibility. I went to jail several times. I could not pay salaries to my staff. I went into hiding for several months because I could not honour cheques," said Abdullah.
According to him, Thushar's "intimidation tactics turned his life into a living hell". "I have tried everything possible to get my money back. Finally, I decided it take him on legally as that is the only way out."
He said he filed the case on the same day Thushar was travelling to Dubai and the law enforcement officials set up the trap for him.
When asked why he waited for 10 years to file a case, Abdullah said he now felt "emboldened because of the power of social media". "I don't have any political clout like Thushar, but people who want to know the truth will support me."
Thushar, who is the Kerala chief of the Bharat Dharma Jana Sena (BDJS), had previously rubbished the allegations, claiming the case against him was "completely fabricated". "He (the complainant) thought I - being a politician - would get afraid and pay up if something like this was put on my head. Even when my friends called, he said he was doing this for money," he had told Khaleej Times.
When asked whether he had issued the Dh9 million cheque to the complainant, Thushar said: "Not at all. The cheque is some 12 years old. My company was closed 12 or 14 years ago. I had settled all the amounts that I owed, including to the complainant."