Unlike Gurgaon, where homebuyers can approach the police against fraudulent developers and real estate brokers, in Noida, they are forced to move court first even to get their complaints registered.
Senior officers claim that this is because most of the cases filed in Noida and Greater Noida police stations are that of property fraud. If the police take up these cases, it will hamper the investigation of criminal cases, they said.
In last six months, the police have filed only 20 cases against developers, despite the fact that nearly half of the complaints that they receive every month are against builders, the police said.
“If we start investigating every complaint against builders, it will hamper the investigation of criminal cases, which is more important. We ask complainants to go to the court, which will decide whether to file an FIR or not,” a senior police officer said.
But, homebuyers’ associations in the twin cities have a different story to tell. They alleged that the police refuse to lodge FIRs against any builder as they are part of the builder-government nexus.
“There are around two lakh homebuyers in Noida and Greater Noida, and nearly half of them are being cheated by developers. The police are working for builders. They never entertain a homebuyer’s complaint but, at the same time, if a group of homebuyers try to stage a protest, the police act highhandedly,” Abhishek Kumar, president of the Noida Extension Flat Owners Welfare Association, said.
In several cases, when builders have fled with investors’ money, the police get the investors to approach the court, Kumar said.
“I know at least 10 such buyers who had approached the police after a builder fled with their money. But the police did not do anything about it. One of them approached the court, which directed the police to file an FIR,” Kumar said.
Experts say this has affected the region’s real estate market as buyers are now reluctant to invest in the twin cities. “The end user is the one who decides the pace of real estate market. Currently, there are too many low category builders in the market who have committed many frauds and this has affected buyers’ confidence. The victims are not getting their money back which is leading to a negative effect on the market,” said Honey Katyal, CEO of real estate consultancy firm Investors Clinic.