2 held for duping homebuyers

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New Delhi, Nov 12 (PTI) Two persons have been arrested for allegedly duping around 250 homebuyers of Rs 29 crore on the pretext of a housing society project under a scheme of the Delhi Development Authority, police said on Thursday.

Ratan Singh Negi (39), a resident of Faridabad, and his woman accomplice are office-bearers of the Aerocity Dwarka multi-state cooperative group housing society. Before joining it, both were employed with another real estate firm in managerial capacity, according to police.

On the pretext that their upcoming project is duly licensed from the DDA, the suspects collected Rs 29 crore from approximately 250 investors. Only Rs 6.75 crore out of it was utilised for purchase of the land for the project, while the remaining amount was misappropriated and siphoned off to various other entities, an officer said.

The arrests on Wednesday came following inputs that Negi and the associate, who were absconding after dismissal of their anticipatory bails, were visiting Delhi. Police are also investigating the roles of other conspirators and associated persons in connection with the case, the officer said.

Joint Commissioner of Police (Economic Offences Wing) O P Mishra said various attractive schemes were being floated in the market by different societies and builders in the name of the DDA's land pooling policy (LPP), and registration fee or initial payment booking of property or flat were being sought.

The DDA envisaged the LPP to ensure availability of sufficient houses under a planned development of Delhi. A probe unravelled that various builders and promoters grabbed it as an opportunity to exploit the situation by cheating flat buyers and raised huge amounts from them for advance bookings in the name of registration, he said.

Investigation revealed that the LPP had been used as a pretext to give an impression and spread a message in the masses that the projects are duly authorised by the authority.

As per the report procured from the DDA, it has not issued any license or approval to any of these societies and no one is authorised to advertise, market, book, sell or invite persons to purchase any plot or flat under the LLP without any prior registration of the project under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, the officer said. PTI AMP HMB