Mumbai: Senior citizen pays for flat, finds others claiming it

Oct 10, 2018, 21:00 IST | Laxman Singh

Duped of the over Rs 35 lakh he had paid for it, he says a reputable bank which gave him a loan, failed to find multiple registrations for same flat during scrutiny, and disbursed loans for it

Mumbai: Senior citizen pays for flat, finds others claiming it
Rajendra Chawathe bought a flat in Sai Aakruti Empire building

A homebuyer recently lodged a police complaint against a reputable bank, after its scrutiny report failed to find multiple registrations for a flat in an under-construction building in Mira Road, and disbursed loans for it. The complainant, Rajendra Chawathe, 61, has alleged that Bank of Maharashtra's (BOM) misguiding title search report regarding the flat, which was finalised, has landed him in trouble. Chawathe, interestingly, a retired employee of BOM, approached police after there was no action by the bank.

The issue
In 2016, Rajendra Chawathe and his son Parag, finalised the purchase of a 1 BHK flat for R36.80 lakh at Mira Road's Sai Aakruti Empire building. Chawathe had taken a loan of R25 lakh from BOM's Dadar branch, and paid the rest via cheque and cash. Sai Aakruti Empire building is a project by the tainted Sai Ninad Enterprises. The builder, Amit Palshetkar, and his partners are facing various police cases for fraud and cheating against them. mid-day in its reports has highlighted (August 16, 2017 and May 21, 2018) this.

Rajendra Chawathe
Rajendra Chawathe

Someone else owns flat
Chawathe got to know about the fraud in November 2017 after reports of cheating in the Sai Akruti Empire project and the arrest of Palshetkar. "In November 2017, I along with my son visited the building to check on our flat. However, a watchman stopped us from entering the flat saying it belonged to some other person and told us to leave. Later, I found that the flat has multiple registrations, and this was hidden by the builder. Even the bank's scrutiny report did not raise a red flag." He added, that he has the scrutiny report and there is no mention of any other registration on the flat. mid-day also has a copy of the scrutiny report prepared by the bank.

Multiple registrations
The first registration for the flat was done six years back by Palshetkar with Raju D Shah and Rajesh Bhansali on July 3, 2012. Palshetkar did an agreement with one Nandlal Yadav on March 21, 2013. After this, Yadav sold the flat to Chawathe and his son Parag on October 17, 2016. Currently, Rajesh Bhansali is claiming ownership of the same flat. Chawathe said, "I have objected to the disbursement of the loan but the officials went ahead with payment." Bank of Maharashtra had sanctioned a loan of Rs 25 lakh on December 22, 2016 to Yadav.

Chawathe had lodged a complaint with the bank (February 22, 2018) highlighting the false scrutiny report and demanding action against those who had not pointed out the irregularity. "It's been more than seven months but there is no action and I am still paying monthly EMIs for the flat which is owned by someone else," said Chawathe.

More such cases
Advocate Mukesh Sharma who filed a complaint with the police on behalf of Chawathe said, "It is really shocking to see how a reputed bank like Bank of Maharashtra had given loans to people while a flat was already registered in another person's name. I have dozens of cases in the project. We have complained to the chief minister and higher police authorities but there is no reply."

'Internal matter'
When contacted, the chief manager of Dadar branch of Bank of Maharashtra, Anurag Rahul said, "This is the bank's internal matter and we are conducting our own inquiry." mid-day had sent a detailed email to the bank with a questionnaire but there was no response.

Rs 36.8 lakh
Amount he paid for the 1BHK

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