Based on a complaint filed by Advocate Shaila Pathak on October 8, the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Borivli (W) registered an offence (copy available with MiD DAY) against Vikas Oberoi, director of Oberoi Constructions, and three of his colleagues under Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act (MOFA) and sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) on November 23.
The quartet has been accused of selling a single flat to two persons despite Pathak — first buyer — paying over 50 per cent of the total value of the flat. As per MOFA rules, if an investor has paid even 20 per cent of the total value, the builder cannot sell the flat to another buyer.
Oberoi, Rochelle Chatterjee, Bhagwati Raghani and Dinesh Nigudkar were booked under sections 420 (cheating) 406 (criminal breach of trust), r/w Act 34 of the IPC and section 13 of the MOFA.
Before approaching the court, Pathak registered a complaint against Oberoi on December 16 (copy available with MiD DAY). In this, she accused Oberoi of selling her flat to another buyer without informing her.
Pathak said she had booked a 3BHK flat in Oberoi’s Splendor Project, Andheri (East), in April 2007. The total value of the property was then pegged at Rs 95.50 lakh, which as per today’s market rate is estimated at Rs 2.25 crore.
She added that on April 30, 2007, Oberoi issued her allotment letter after she made a downpayment of over Rs 10 lakh, and has paid approximately Rs 60 lakh till date.
Pathak said, “My husband is an estate agent and knows how builders operate. He felt something was amiss. On November 23, 2011, he published a notice in papers stating that I was the owner of flat no 803 and no one should deal with the same.”
Later, on December 10, 2011, Pathak was informed that her allotment was cancelled and the flat was sold to a person named Rahul Suri.
“Builders always get away as such matters are generally termed as ‘civil cases’ and they use them to arm-twist buyers. Being an advocate, I decided to approach the court to ensure that the builder is booked and tried under criminal proceedings as it is a clear case of cheating,” said Pathak.
The next hearing is scheduled for January 5, 2013.