MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) has dismissed a criminal case filed against Filipino-Indian businessman Rajiv Chandiramani, his mother Pushpa and five others in connection with the divestment of real estate worth P1 billion.
In a 20-page resolution made public Tuesday, the complaint was dismissed for lack of probable cause.
Probable cause means that there are facts and circumstances that, with a reasonable attitude, lead to the belief that a person has committed a crime and should be prosecuted for it.
Chandiramani, his mother Pushpa and their business associates Janet de Luna Cardinal, Maria Anita Turqueza, Rommel Olayber, Christina Gutierrez and Angelito Manuel were charged with violating the Revised Penal Code for falsifying public documents.
The complaint was filed by Rajiv’s estranged brother, Amith Prem Chandiramani, who accused the defendants of conspiring to transfer the assets and business interests left by their father, Prem, before his death on December 26, 2011.
In dismissing the complaint, the DOJ points out that Amith failed to disclose that he filed a similar complaint with the Makati prosecutor’s office in July 2022.
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The DOJ added that Amith also failed to disclose in his complaint that the case filed in Makati was dropped as a result of a compromise agreement reached with his family.
The Justice Department’s resolution noted that the compromise agreement provides a waiver and waiver covering any potential claims or rights against themselves arising from or relating to the cases, as well as the estate of their deceased father.
“This Office must comply with the provisions of the Compromise Agreement because it was mutually agreed to and implemented by the parties without the use of force, fraud, or undue intimidation,” the Justice Department’s resolution reads.
“The compromise agreement agreed by Amith and Rajiv was in the nature of an extra-judicial compromise agreement. Reading them shows that it contains all the elements of a valid contract. Likewise, this was mutually agreed by Amith and Rajiv without the use of force, fraud or undue intimidation,” the DOJ noted.
The Department of Justice added that Amith himself admitted that he recognized the validity of the transfer of the properties covered by the disputed instruments of sale and mortgage.
“Under the circumstances, Amith can no longer deny that his signatures and those of their deceased father on the said sale documents and mortgages relating to the impugned property transfer were forged,” the resolution reads.