Mumbai: Duped by builder, buyers join hands on WhatsApp

Updated: Sep 15, 2016, 17:47 IST | Asif Rizvi |

Over 170 of them, including NRIs, allegedly cheated by developer Pujit Aggarwal, have connected through three WhatsApp groups and one on Telegram

(Left) Developer Pujit Aggarwal’s police custody was extended further till September 16. Pic/Shadab Khan
(Left) Developer Pujit Aggarwal’s police custody was extended further till September 16. Pic/Shadab Khan

Even as there is no relief in sight for realty developer Pujit Aggarwal, held in a cheating case last week, the homebuyers duped by his Orbit Corporation, are now using messaging platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram to connect to those who have been allegedly duped by the company.

The Azad Maidan police arrested Pujit Aggarwal last week following an FIR registered by the Capri Global Capital Limited after he failed to deliver three flats in Orbit Residency Park in Sakinaka.

Also Read: Navi Mumbai: Builder, associate arrested for duping people of lakhs

The homebuyers have connected through four groups on the two messaging applications. While a group with NRIs is on Telegram, one of the WhatsApp groups is for the 31 complainants, another is for updates on the case in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCRDC) and one with officials from Orbit corporation, who keep the buyers updated on the case proceedings.

Romi Abraham, a homebuyer was present at the court where Aggarwal was produced yesterday with at least 20 other buyers who have been allegedly cheated. He told mid-day, “I had booked a flat in December 2009 and paid Rs 37.70 lakh for it but when I did not get the possession until 2012, I decided to complain to the police. Then, I decided to reach out to others who were duped in a similar manner and created a WhatsApp group.”

NRI complainants
“Initially there were 31 complainants and now we are in touch with about 170 people including NRIs from the Gulf and the UK. We have requested the Saki Naka police to act against the Aggarwals and they have told us they would be compiling our complaints into one since Azad Maidan police has already arrested Pujit Aggarwal.

mid-day reached out to Orbit Corporation over e-mail to seek their reply to the allegations, however, at the time of going to press, the company had not responded.

Compiling complaints
The police are now planning to compile all complaints against Aggarwal, including the ones from homebuyers of his Saki Naka project.

Read Story: Builder in Thane asked to cough up Rs 3 lakh for duping customer

Police sources said, “The police are now planning to compile similar cases against Orbit Corporation Limited in DB Marg and Saki Naka police stations. They are also planning to contact the complainants abroad who have been allegedly cheated via e-mail.”

Pujit wants a pillow
The court on Monday extended Pujit Aggarwal’s police custody further till September 16. The defence in the court asked for a pillow for Aggarwal, saying that since he has been facing lower back pain and was on medication, he would need a pillow to sleep.

Voices

Romi Abraham, Home buyer
‘Now we are in touch with about 170 people including NRIs from the Gulf and the UK.’

Ajit Masurkar, Home buyer
‘I kept approaching Orbit’s sales managers and other officials and they kept delaying to hand over the flat. We’re around 30 people who have demanded action against Orbit.’

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