Staff Reporter

Chennai: A 50-year-old woman who had paid Rs.20 lakh as advance for a property in Mogappair was pleased when the City police helped her to recover her money that she thought would never be returned.

Jhansi Rani, a widow living with her daughter Mahalakshmi in Mogappair, had decided to buy a house. A broker Arul Das who told them that a house was available in the same area. He had introduced them to one Vimal Chand Paukodia, a resident of Chetpet, who said a house belonging to his brother’s wife Neetu was on sale.

Ms.Rani paid Rs.20 lakh as advance for the house and on March 19 drafted an agreement to pay the rest of the money amounting to Rs.40 lakh within three months. She then applied for bank loans and proceeded to have the documents verified by competent authorities. When she went to get the encumbrance certificate (EC) for the property she realised that she had been duped. The EC described the extent of the property as 1,369 sq.ft. as against the CMDA approved plan that said the house was built on 1,524 sq. ft.

When Ms.Mahalakshmi pointed out the mistake Mr.Paukodia suggested that Ms.Rani could reduce the amount to be paid suitably. Realising that she would have to demolish portions of her house since the property encroached on the neighbour’s land, Ms.Rani backed out of the deal and wanted the advance to be returned.

Ms.Rani approached the Police Commissioner on June 14 with her complaint. He directed the matter to the Central Crime Branch for investigation. The first information report was filed on Friday.

On Saturday, the women were asked to come to the Commissioner’s office at 4 a.m. and the three persons, Arul Das, Paukodia and Neetu were also brought to the Commissioner’s office at Egmore. “When we came this morning, the money was paid immediately,” said a very relieved Ms.Meenakshi.