The Delhi Police on Friday lodged a case against YouTuber Gaurav Wasan for allegedly misappropriating funds received as a donation for the owner of “Baba Ka Dhaba”, an eatery in Delhi’s Malviya Nagar, reported PTI.
Kanta Prasad and his wife, the owner of the eatery, had shot to fame after Wasan shot a video of them where the 80-year-old broke down as he spoke about the drop in his business following coronavirus-induced lockdown. The couple has been struggling to run their restaurant owing to lack of customers.
The police lodged the case on a complaint filed by Prasad on October 31, a month after Wasan shot the video. “After we received a complaint, preliminary enquiry was done and an FIR [first information report] was registered under section 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property) of [the] Indian Penal Code and an investigation has been initiated,” Deputy Commissioner of Police (South) Atul Kumar Thakur said.
In his complaint, Prasad has alleged that the YouTuber “intentionally and deliberately” shared only the bank details and mobile number of his family and friends with people and collected a huge amount of donation without providing any information to him.
On Friday, the owner of the eatery said he was hurt about being called “greedy” by some social media users after he lodged the complaint and challenged Wasan to disclose his bank details to prove his innocence. At a press conference, Prasad claimed that the YouTuber gave him a cheque of 2.33 lakh on October 26 after he was trolled for not handing over the donation amount to Prasad. The eatery owner was accompanied by his lawyer Prem Joshi and blogger Tushant.
The blogger alleged that Wasan had disclosed the details of his bank account between October 7 to 10. However, Tushant claimed that the YouTuber received additional money after that and demanded that Wasan must reveal his bank account statements till October 26.
Joshi said that in the initial videos shot by Wasan, he had claimed that Prasad did not have a bank account. It was a lie, he alleged.
The lawyer also alleged that when Wasan gave the cheque to Prasad on October 26, he made the restaurant owner sign a paper claiming that all dues had been settled. However, he again gave Rs 1.45 lakh to Prasad, Joshi said.
Earlier, Wasan denied the allegations. “When I shot the video, I didn’t know it would become this big,” he had claimed on November 1. “I didn’t want people to harass Baba (Prasad) so I shared my bank details.”
The YouTuber said when he went to the bank to deposit the money received on behalf of Prasad, he was told that the account had been sealed as Rs 20 lakh was already been deposited in it. “That is why when I emerged from the bank, I made a public appeal asking people to stop donating to Baba Ka Dhaba as it had received enough financial assistance,” Wasan said.
He said that people used to praise him for helping the couple but now they were “calling me a fraud”. “I have all the account details here, I have been forced to stoop to this level,” he told the news channel.
Wasan said that he gave Rs 3.78 lakh from the Rs 4.44 lakh from his account as part of the donation made by contributors, adding that the rest was his own money.