A 48-year-old Non-Resident Indian (NRI) living in the United Kingdom claims he has been allegedly cheated of more than Rs 3 crore by an east Delhi builder. Four years and 22 trips to the capital later, he is still waiting for justice.
The incident has come to light with just a month to go for the Commonwealth Games that are being hailed as an unprecedented business opportunity to attract potential foreign investors to the city.
“I was a part of the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2006. The event had such an impact on me that I came to the city in late September 2006 looking for an opportunity to help bring prosperity to my homeland,” said Ashok Verma, a resident of Hounslow, UK.
At the recommendation of some friends, an overwhelmed Verma approached Harish Kathuria, a builder based in east Delhi’s Laxmi Nagar area. “I purchased two floors at the K3C Mall located in Karnal, Haryana from Kathuria. My brother, Virender and I had gone to Harish Kathuria’s office in Hargobind Nagar to hand over our first installment for the deal on October 4,” Verma recalled.
Between October 4, 2006 to September 9, 2008 Verma and his family members had allegedly ended up paying Rs 3, 26,82,931 to Harish Kathuria by means of 17 cheques for 35 per cent possession of the property.
“But when we went there to take possession of the property, we were told that Kathuria had mortgaged the property to a government agency in Haryana and were not allowed to take possession of the same,” Verma alleged. The NRI then ran from pillar to post for four years.
“I kept coming to the city to resolve the matter for two years. I made 22 trips to Delhi from London just to plead with the builder but to no avail,” said Verma.
However, it was only after he pleaded with ministers and dignitaries at the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas this year that his case was registered.
This is his 23rd trip to Delhi. Kathuria, however, denied the NRI’s claims.
“Mr Verma was well aware of the fact that the property that he was purchasing had been mortgaged. Despite not owning it fully, he reaped profits for four years between 2006 till early 2010. But now that the business is running in losses, he is staging this drama to hustle us into paying him back,” said Kathuria.
Meanwhile, a case has been registered at the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (E.O.W) and investigations into the matter are under way.