Court gives relief to woman cheated twice by builders

Apr 06, 2012, 07:22 IST | Shailesh Bhatia

The victim had paid Rs 56 lakh to the two accused for separate realty investments; not only did the developers fail to keep their promises, even the refund cheques they issued bounced

Investing in real estate, though lucrative, is also fraught with risks. Take the case of Asiya Khan. The Andheri resident paid more than Rs 56 lakh to two builders for what appeared to be sound bargains.

Not only did she fail to acquire the intended estates, the victim has had to struggle for five years to get her money back. Now, a judgement by the court of Bandra metropolitan magistrate has given her hope.

ESTATE OF AFFAIRS: While Asiya appears satisfied with the judgement, her brother Masood Dafedar has alleged the builders told him the money could not be returned as it was used to fund terror activities and an underworld don was being used to threaten the victim

Sayed Hussain Rizvi, director of Bharat Builders, has been convicted for six months imprisonment for the offence of cheque bouncing. He has to pay Rs 32 lakh to the complainant. “In default, further imprisonment for one year has been ordered.

Same jail sentence has been awarded to Mohammed Fahim Sheikh, director of Wins Construction, who has to pay Rs 28 lakh,” informed advocate Junaid Shabwany, who fought the case successfully on behalf of Asiya.

“Over and above the principal amount charged, both the accused have been ordered to pay Rs 2 lakh each. We are happy with the judgement. Though, I personally feel the court should have awarded more compensation,” added Shabwany.

Raw deals
“In the year 2007, my friend introduced me to both the accused. While Mohammed Sheikh offered to sell me his flat near Mahim station, measuring 550 sq ft, for Rs 26 lakh, Sayed Hussain wished to dispose two 250-sq ft shops at Lohar Chawl, Mahim, for a total amount of Rs 30 lakh. Both deals sounded good, so I went ahead and made the payments,” Asiya told MiD DAY.

She alleged that after two years of waiting in vain for the builders to hand over the properties, she approached them for a refund, which after great persuasion was finally made. But, both the cheques bounced (MiD DAY has copies of them).

“I was requested to forego the interest, accept the principal amount, and close the chapter once and for all. To this I agreed, but the real legal battle was yet to begin,” Asiya added.

Terror angle?
Asiya’s brother Masood Dafedar alleged that a complaint was also lodged by them with the ATS after they were told that the money paid by them could not be returned as it was used to fund terrorism. Masood claimed an underworld don was being used to threaten them (MiD DAY has a copy of the affidavit, which makes such claims).

The other side
When asked about the bounced cheque and the impending punishment, Mohammed Fahim Sheikh, kept repeating, “Matter kuch bhi nahi, sab settle ho gaya hai (there is no problem, everything has been settled).

Sayed Hussain Rizvi, on the other hand, candidly replied, “Humko saza ho gai hai, aapko jo paper mein dalna hai daldo (I have been sentenced, you can print whatever you want in your paper).

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