Monday, July 03, 2017

11 cheating cases against Mumbai builders till May compared to 16 last year

Hindustan Times: New Delhi: Monday, July 03, 2017.
The two housing units of the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of Mumbai police registered 11 cases against builders for allegedly duping flat buyers till May this year compared to 16 cases last year, revealed a Right To Information (RTI) application filed by Hindustan Times.
Theses cases were registered under the Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act (MOFA).
Most of the cases refer to instances in which the builder had accepted a huge amount from buyers and later refused to hand over the flats with the promised time period.
The MOFA Act came into existence in 1963. The EOW probes cases in which the duped amount is above Rs3 crore. Any MOFA case with amount less than Rs3 crore is registered with the police station.
The duped amount in 15 cases registered with the housing unit 1 stood at Rs223.51 crore between 2016 and May this year while the housing unit II which registered the rest 12 cases refused to divulge the amount.
According to the procedure, an official said they verify a complaint first and then file a first information report. “After receiving a complaint, we verify it. We also listen to the version of the accused. Once we establish that the intention of the builder was to cheat the buyer, we register an FIR,” added the official.
Giving an example, the official said, “We have registered multiple cases against a builder who has duped hundreds of flat buyers and investors. The builder showed a forged commencement certificate and sold one flat to more than one buyer. He also sold flats in the building they have mortgaged to banks.”
The major reasons cited by builders for not meeting deadline are paucity of funds, change in government rules or pending approvals from government agencies. The official said it takes a minimum of four years to recover the money.
Staff crunch at EOW is another reason why it takes so long to recover the amount. Each official handles about seven to eight cases against the ideal number of two to three cases. The EOW ensures the accused is convicted and the money trail is established.”