Orbit Residency Park in Saki Naka is not the only project in which builder Pujit Aggarwal is alleged to have cheated people. The Hindu has learned that he is also facing allegations of cheating from people who were promised houses in Orbit Heights, a multi-storey bulding in Gamdevi.
The Mumbai-based builder had been arrested by the Azad Maidan police on Monday, for allegedly cheating Capri Global Capital, a south Mumbai-based firm. Capri had invested in three flats in Orbit Residency Park, and when the property was seized due to Aggarwal’s default on a massive loan that he had taken against the property, the company had approached the police.
According to sources, in December 2015, Meena Jain (52), a widow staying in the Gowalia tank area, registered an FIR with the Gamdevi police against Aggarwal and others. Ms. Jain in her complaint, a copy of which is with The Hindu , said that she used to live with her husband Rajendra, son Mihir, and daughter Deepal at Irani Chawl in Nana Chowk, where Orbit Heights now stands. The chawl was demolished in 2004 as part of a redevelopment project, and the Jains were promised a flat on the sixth floor once the building was ready.
After the project was completed by 2010, Aggarwal told the Jains that he would be unable to hand over the promised house and offered them a flat on the 21st floor instead. The Jains, who had an agreement for the sixth floor, agreed to the offer, and were told that a new agreement would be drawn up soon. In their complaint, the Jains stated they had repeated meetings with Aggarwal over the next few years, and were assured that they would be given a new agreement and possession of the promised house soon. During this time, Mr. Jain paid close to Rs. 2 lakh in the form of maintenance bills, gas connection charges, electricity charges, and an additional amount that he was told he would have to pay as he was getting a house on a higher floor.
Mr. Jain passed away in 2012. His wife and children repeatedly met Aggarwal to get the house promised to them, but they learned that the flat had been sold to someone else. The party to whom the flat had been sold, Hitesh Sanghvi, told the Jains that he had a proper legal agreement for the flat drawn up by Aggarwal. The Jains subsequently registered an FIR in December. They also met top police officials, and the FIR was then transferred to the D.B. Marg police.
Officials from the D.B. Marg police station confirmed that they would soon seek cusody of Aggarwal from the Azaad Maidan police. “We had called Aggarwal for inquiries two to three times after the case was transferred to us, and he was not cooperative. We are preparing an application to seek his custody,” an officer said.
Meanwhile, the police confirmed that there were other allegations of cheating against Aggarwal from other residents of the chawl who were promised houses in the tower. “We have received two applications alleging cheating by Aggarwal regarding Orbit Heights,” said senior police inspector Netaji Bhopale, Gamdevi police station.
The Hindu was the first to report the plight of over 300 people, who had booked flats in Orbit Residency Park and are still awaiting the houses promised to them. Many of them have lost their life savings or taken heavy loans which they are still repaying.