Office bearers of housing societies arrested for duping 350 investors of ₹40 crore
Five officer bearers of housing societies and a property dealer have been arrested by the Delhi Police’s Economic Offences Wing (EOW) for duping 350 home buyers of ₹40 crore by making them invest in projects under the land pooling policy which is yet to be finalised by the Delhi Development Authority, the police said.
OP Mishra, the joint commissioner of police (EOW), identified the three housing societies as Rudra Welfare Society, Aerocity Dwarka and Eminent Officers Welfare Society—all of which are based in Dwarka and allegedly do not have the authority to develop these projects.
While the FIRs against officials of the first two societies were registered in January this year, the case against the officials of the third was filed in June.
A senior DDA official, requesting anonymity, said that so far no sector has been confirmed for land pooling policy in Delhi as the law requires at least 70% of land owners to give their consent for participation before the license for construction is given.
“So far, we have received willingness from owners of 6,500 hectares of land in Delhi for the land pooling policy, but there is not even a single sector where the 70% participation requirement has been fulfilled. So, no licence has been issued so far,” said the official.
The DDA had approved the land pooling policy in February last year to ensure sufficient homes in the city. While the policy is yet to be finalised, the builders allegedly took advantage of potential home buyers’ anticipation to start various fake schemes to rake in easy money, the police said.
The joint commissioner of police, Mishra, said that the arrested men had floated various “attractive schemes” among potential investors and had demanded money in the name of advance payments, registration fees, etc. One victim, for example, had revealed that he was promised a flat for 1,760 square feet for ₹51 lakh and he paid up over ₹20 lakh as a token for advance booking, said Mishra.
“Our investigation has revealed that these illegal housing societies misused the idea of DDA’s land pooling policy to portray that the projects are authorised by the government,” said Mishra.
Police said that the builders were attracting home buyers by offering flats for very cheap prices in a place like west Delhi’s Dwarka where property prices are high.
“They formed housing societies and created websites to lure buyers and sent bulk text messages to people in Delhi-NCR about housing projects which legally cannot be constructed,” said Mishra.
Earlier in February, the EOW had arrested three office bearers of another society, Revanta Multi State CGHS Ltd, for a similar fraud, said the officer. While the scale of this fraud is yet to be ascertained by the police, Mishra said that the number of people duped could be thousands.
A DDA official, who did not wish to be named, said that the agency has been regularly issuing advertisements to deter potential buyers from investing in properties which don’t even have the license yet. “People are being made aware that no land has been allotted yet to any developer for any housing projects under this policy,” said the official.
The police said that other victims of similar frauds could visit its EOW office in New Delhi’s Mandir Marg or email their complaints to email@example.com.