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Investors claim Rs 2.5 crore housing scheme fraud

Police said the society, ITD Homes Welfare Society, was established in 2013 with its office in Delhi’s Pitampura by a serving income tax officer.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2019 06:27 IST
Karn Pratap Singh
housing scheme fraud,housing scheme,DDA
Fifteen investors, mostly government employees, including some from the income tax department, have alleged they were cheated of around Rs 2.5 crore by a private welfare society in the name of constructing residential flats under DDA’s land pooling scheme.(Amal KS/HT PHOTO)

Fifteen investors, mostly government employees, including some from the income tax department, have alleged they were cheated of around Rs 2.5 crore by a private welfare society in the name of constructing residential flats under Delhi Development Authority’s (DDA) land pooling scheme, police said on Tuesday.

Police said the society, ITD Homes Welfare Society, was established in 2013 with its office in Delhi’s Pitampura by a serving income tax officer. It had around 60 members, mostly government employees.

The 15 people who were duped and filed separate complaints against the society were themselves its members, police said.

A case of criminal breach of trust, cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property, and criminal conspiracy under section 406, 420, and 120B of the Indian Penal Code has been registered against the society with Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW).

Additional commissioner of police (EOW) Suvashish Choudhary said this was the first case the wing had registered, related to cheating in the name of Delhi Development Authority’s land-pooling scheme. “No second complaint regarding the same has been received in the EOW so far,” he said.

The land pooling scheme is aimed at meeting the growing housing demand in the city by allowing development in urban extensions or villages on the periphery. The policy was first prepared in 2013 and revised in 2018. Under this, land parcels owned by individuals or groups would be consolidated and developed in a planned manner.

Police said the case was registered on Monday following an enquiry into a complaint filed last year by one of the investors, Anurag Sharma, a former income tax employee, who is now employed at the President’s Estate.

“The enquiry report showed 15 members were induced to deposit money in the society’s bank account after they were promised flats under DDA’s land pool scheme. The enquiry revealed no such scheme was approved by DDA. Since the investors were neither given flats nor their money was being returned, they filed complaints against the society, especially its founder member,” said a police officer, associated with the probe.

A member of ITD Homes Welfare Society’s governing committee, who refused to disclose his name, said, “We purchased agricultural land at Mukhmelpur village in Delhi’s Alipur for developing the residential society under DDA’s land pool scheme. The plan was to surrender the land to DDA but it did not materialise. We planned to sell the land and return the investors their money. But we have not found a buyer yet.”

The person said the governing committee members would cooperate with the police.

Sharma, however, alleged the land was purchased without investors’ consent and that they were never informed that no approval was sought from DDA to develop the residential society.

“We approached the police when we found irregularities in the use of the money we had deposited in the society’s fund. Apart from purchasing the land, the society’s founder member had withdrawn R35 lakh without our approval. He told us he used the money on his relative’s treatment. But we found out the money was used to pay landowners,” Sharma said.

A senior DDA official, “We don’t know about this case. But DDA has been taking out advertisements at regular intervals, telling people not to fall prey to such schemes. We have started work on the implementation of the policy, but it will take some time before areas are developed under its scheme. ”

First Published: Apr 24, 2019 06:26 IST