Expressing concern over rising cases of developers duping the public, the Delhi high court has asked a builder to immediately return a total of Rs 3.5 crore, he allegedly received from 50 investors, as principal amount.
An FIR had been lodged against one Rajesh Yadav after investors complained that they had been cheated as the construction for a project in Faridabad had not even commenced even six-and-a-half years after the initial payment.
Justice Kailash Gambhir asked Yadav, a director of Pal Builders and Infrastructure, to refund the principal amount to all the 50 investors by May 21, making it clear that his plea for quashing the FIR would only be considered after that.
Yadav’s lawyer Sudhir Nandrajog told the court that the matter has been settled with one complainant and his client is prepared to settle the dispute with the remaining 49 investors also “to their fullest satisfaction”.Public prosecutor Navin Sharma opposed the quashing of FIR till all the complainants got back their money and said “It would send wrong signals at a time when the menace of builders duping the public who are losing their hard-earned money has reached alarming proportions”.
“This clearly amounts to contempt of court. On April 10, the judge had given a month’s time to the builder to pay up. Till now we have not got back a penny. Forget the interest we are even ready to accept the principal amount we had paid,” says MD Aggarwal, an investor who lost money.
The court had asked the investigating officer of the case to ensure the settlement of the dispute within a month by calling five investors at a time and to make sure they got the amount back. Aggarwal said 40 of those who were duped have formed an association to present their case in a better way. During the last date of hearing on May 14, the court agreed to the plea of builders for one more week’s time to pay up.