The police’s economic offences wing on Wednesday arrested three people for allegedly defrauding a city resident of Rs 39 lakh after offering to help him buy residential land near Shimla.
The suspects have been identified as Vinod Kumar, 58, and his wife Sheela Laxmi, 54, both residents of Sector 12, Panchkula, and the former’s brother-in-law, Ashok Kumar, a resident of Sanjauli, Shimla. They have been booked under sections 420 (cheating) and 120B (criminal conspiracy) of the Indian Penal Code. They were produced before a court that remanded them to three days’ police custody.
According to inspector Charanjeet Singh Virk, the complainant, Ajit Jain, told the police he planned to purchase land for building a cottage in Shimla and met Kumar who told him he would assist him in clinching a good deal. He said Jain claimed he later entered into an agreement with Sheela for the purchase of 500 square yards in Naldehra village near Shimla and also consulted Kumar for construction.
Virk said the land was priced at Rs 25 lakh and the total amount fixed for the deal, including construction of a cottage, was Rs 52 lakh. He said Jain issued cheques for Rs 39 lakh as part payment to the suspects, adding Jain promised to pay the balance Rs 13 lakh at the time of possession of the cottage, the last date for which was settled as October 26, 2011.
Virk said in August 2011 Jain gave Rs 2.5 lakh to Kumar and Sheela, who told him they needed to get the necessary clearance from the Himachal department concerned for transfer of the land. He said the suspects also told Jain the original documents were required to be attached with the application for possession of the land following which Jain handed them over to Kumar and Sheela. But, the duo later expressed their inability in completing construction of the cottage.