Top Mumbai builder accused of flat fraud
The shenanigans of the builder mafia in the city seem to have spread as far north as the national capital. Cops in Delhi are investigating a prominent Mumbai builder, Sunil Mantri, after a businessman there complained that the 38 flats he bought from Mantri in 2010 were later allotted to other people.
The Greater Kailash-1 (GK1) police in South Delhi are looking into the complaint lodged by businessman Ashok Thapar, who has alleged that Mantri, who once headed state builders’ body MCHI, sold him flats but later allotted the properties to others. In 2010, Thapar bought 29 flats for Rs 13.88 crore at Mantri Park in Goregaon in the name of Maharashtra Savings, he claimed in his complaint.
In a separate complaint lodged with the Gurgaon Economic Offences Wing, he claimed he bought another nine flats from Mantri in the Goregaon project the same year for which he paid Rs 3 crore. But a quick check revealed that the flats were already allotted to someone else.
Thapar’s complaint states that when the incongruity came to the fore, he spoke with Mantri, who decided to reimburse a sum of Rs 4.10 crore to Thapar, including the interest accrued on the capital. But the cheque Mantri issued wasn’t honoured, forcing Thapar to file a police complaint.
Earlier this month, the GK1 police sent Mantri a notice of inquiry (dated September 30, 2013) on Thapar’s complaint, asking him to revert on the allegations. Sub-inspector Pawan Kumar, who signed the notice, said the police are carrying out investigations to get to the truth of the matter.
“Only after we check all aspects of the case will we be able to authenticate the complaint. We are looking into the matter before we proceed. We have sent letters to the party against which allegations have been made. If Mantri fails to respond, we would initiate legal proceedings,” said Kumar.
The complainant’s son Gautam Thapar said, “After buying the flats, we realised that they had been allotted to someone else, and we checked with Mantri and his people. We were assured that the money would be paid back to us with interest. However, when their cheque bounced, we decided to go ahead and file a complaint against Mantri.”
Joint Commissioner (Crime) of Gurgaon Police, Vivek Mishra, said he was too busy to comment on the matter. Inspector in charge of EOW, Harinder Kumar, said, “I will have to look into the complaint before making a comment.”
The other side
The accused builder Sunil Mantri has called the complaints baseless. His detailed response states: “Originally, the purchase of nine flats was contemplated. Our company issued allotment letter to Ashok Thapar to enable him to make payment of Rs 3 crore. Thapar decided not to accept the allotment letter and countersigned it. He also opted not to pay Rs 3 crore. Rather, he insisted he would prefer to invest the said money by way of interest-bearing loan. As per the agreed terms, he deducted an interest of Rs 54 lakh in advance before giving a payment of Rs 2.46 crore against security of bill of exchange and post-datedcheques. This transaction was periodically renewed and the last renewal was done in April 2013 till 31 August 2013. Thapar accepted TDS certificate issued by our company annually. Our company asked Thapar to return the allotment letter, a request that was never acted upon. Instead, he took advantage of the letter with him and stated that he wanted the flats as prices have gone up. A dispute cropped up due to such an illegal demand. Our company was compelled to stop payment of the cheques issued to Thapar, and we informed him of the same. Weare in the process of approaching the court.”
38 Number of flats Ashok Thapar had bought in Mantri Park in Goregaon in 2010
Rs 17 crore Amount Ashok Thapar paid for them.