The Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Delhi Police arrested a 50-year-old builder for allegedly using forged documents to pass off a multi-storey commercial building, constructed with faulty material, as structurally safe in southeast Delhi’s Greater Kailash part I on Friday.
“The said five-floor structure is located at the E block in GK Part I. The plot’s owner, who wanted to rent it out to a private bank, had approached the arrested builder, identified as Avdesh Mittal, to commence construction in 2005,” said a senior police officer from the EOW, requesting anonymity.
Sources said not only had Mittal used forged documents to inflate the cost of construction, but had also bribed a structural engineer to obtain a forged safety certificate.
“Since the plot’s owner desired that the building be rented out to a bank, he had specifically asked Mittal to ensure that it was earthquake proof — a precondition for any property from where a banking operation can be operated. Investigation revealed not only had Mittal inflated the cost of construction but also bribed an engineer Rs10,000 to procure a forged safety certificate,” the officer said.
Mittal’s bluff was called when residents staying in the immediate vicinity of the said building approached its owner with doubts regarding its safety.
“The building was visibly unsafe; it had developed cracks and the locality’s residents, terrified at the prospect of it falling on their own homes, approached its owner and asked him to get it examined. However, not only did Mittal disallow the owner from entering the building — he procured forged documents from the MCD to ward off the local police when the mater was reported to them,” said the officer.
According to police, the matter was reported to them in 2008 and subsequently transferred to the EOW. “When Mittal’s culpability was established and the matter went to court, a private firm was roped in to assess its structural safety. After the 15-day assessment, not only was the structure declared non-earthquake-proof but even unfit for habitation,” the officer said.
Confirming the incident, additional commissioner of police (EOW) Vivek Gogia said, “Avdesh Mittal was arrested last evening and we are investigating the matter.”