A huge housing scam has been unearthed in Noida where a developer sold apartments to multiple buyers and banks provided home loans to two or more buyers for the same house.
Shiv Kala Charms has allegedly ripped off more than 400 people, defrauding them of amounts ranging from `25lakh to `35lakh, and is facing multiple lawsuits.
Banks such as Axis Bank, Oriental Bank of Commerce and Syndicate Bank and housing finance companies like HDFC, LIC Housing Finance Limited (LICHFL), Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), Punjab National Bank Housing Finance and Indiabulls are among the firms whose diligence is now in question.
Following the complaints, inquiries were initiated by the Reserve Bank (RBI) and Gautam Buddh Nagar district magistrate.
The scam first came to light on August 31, 2011 when HDFC Bank published a list of 78 apartments in Shiv Kala Charms, stating these were legally mortgaged to the bank. Homebuyers were shocked to find their apartment numbers on the list.
Other financial institutions that had approved loans for the same flats came out with their own lists — revealing multiple duplicate sales and loans.
Dwarka resident Avneesh Kaushik, 38, who had bought apartment 2093 on the ninth floor of the under-construction tower-2 in 2008 with a home loan from Syndicate Bank, has filed a case against the developer with the Delhi Police economic offences wing.
The software consultant was shocked to find out that the developer had sold his apartment to another buyer who was granted finance by LICHFL.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the financiers have initiated recovery proceedings against homebuyers defaulting on EMIs and cases of cheques bouncing have been registered against those left with no means to repay their loans.
At the same time, no action has been taken against the developer or any bank official, though litigations are on. In October-end, the Allahabad high court had directed the Noida SSP to expedite the investigation.
The report of the National Housing Bank (NHB), looking into the matter on the RBI’s instructions, reveals that banks financed several “non-existing flats” and identifies many cases where more than one mortgage was granted over a single flat. The March 2012 report of the Gautam Buddh Nagar CDO is just as damning. It shows “imaginary” apartments and says a fraud of this magnitude is not possible without the connivance of bank officials and office-bearers of the society.
All the financial institutions concerned declined to comment, citing ongoing legal processes.
Shiv Kala Charms is part of a cooperative society, Golf Course Sahkari Awas Samiti Ltd, that was formed in 2004. Kaushik’s FIR names the builders as Mahim Mittal, Ranjeeta Mittal, Asit Mittal, Navita Mittal and Sandeep Gupta. Repeated requests to them for comment went unanswered.