HUDCO official's house searched

CHENNAI NOV. 1. The Anti-Corruption branch of the CBI today conducted searches in 12 places in connection with a case of alleged conspiracy, cheating and criminal misconduct against a former Regional Chief of the Housing and Urban Development Corporation, Chennai, now working in Hyderabad, and a private construction company. Besides Chennai and Nagercoil, the search operations were conducted in Hyderabad. Some documents have been seized, an official of the investigating agency said.

The housing corporation had advanced Rs.16.69 crores to Arihant Foundation for construction of 310 flats at Koyambedu here, and the flats were mortgaged to the HUDCO. When the loan was advanced in 1997, the condition laid down was that the flats should not be registered in the name of buyers without obtaining a ``no-objection certificate'' (NoC) from the HUDCO.

Further, the sale proceeds should be deposited in the loan account of the borrower towards loan repayment. But in violation, the builder registered 132 flats without obtaining the NoC. For the remaining 87 flats, he obtained the NoC. The other flats were not registered yet. The builder repaid only Rs. 2 crores to the HUDCO so far. Four cheques given to the corporation bounced and a case was pending before a court. When HUDCO officials drew the attention of the then Regional Chief, V. Arulkumar, regarding registration of flats without the NoC, he failed in his duty to check the violation. He also gave wrong information to the HUDCO head office regarding status of registration, the officials said.

The investigating agency registered a case against Mr. Arulkumar and the Managing Director of the construction company, Navratan Lunavath, and the board of directors under 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 420 (cheating) IPC and under section 13 (2) read with 13 (1) (d) of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

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