City police’s economic offences wing has closed a case against Nirmal Lifestyle directors Dharmesh Jain and Rajiv Jain who were booked along with a few others, including Videocon group founder Venugopal Dhoot, for allegedly cheating 28 home buyers of nearly Rs 12.7 crore in 2012.
Police have filed a C-summary report stating that the case was registered due to a “mistake of facts” and the offence was civil in nature.
From the detailed investigation and statements of a total of 29 witnesses, including the complainant, the EOW learnt that the developer had returned the amount invested by them against their respective flats. The complainant and the other investors have made a compromise by determining the amount of investment and have received interest on their investment. They have also filed consent terms, hence the allegations made against the accused now stand settled and do not hold any water, the report stated.
The EOW registered two separate FIRs in 2022. Home buyers in different Nirmal Lifestyle projects, including Olympia, Panorama, Spirit and Amethyst, had filed complaints with the EOW, and the police had conducted a detailed preliminary probe before arresting the Jains.
Nirmal Lifestyle group had been facing financial constraint for some time, which led to the stalling of many of their housing projects in Mulund and Kalyan.
In the current case, police had booked the Jains, Chandrakant Shah, director of Modella Textile owned by Videocon group, Dhoot, and one Suresh Hegde under Indian Penal Code sections for cheating and forgery as well as under the Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act (MOFA) in connection with the Sports City project in Mulund-Thane circle.
Police have submitted the closure report in the case where one Atish Mule had lodged a complaint that in 2012, under the pretext of developing the Sports City in Mulund-Thane, the developer had accepted 20% of the amount for a flat without obtaining the necessary permissions and then failed to execute a registered sale agreement within the prescribed period and not handed over possession of the property.
The complaint stated that the developer transferred the project to Godrej Properties without informing the flat buyers or seeking their consent. Along with Mule, 28 others who had bought flats in the project joined him to lodge the complaint. Now, all complainants have given statements to the EOW that the developers have paid them with interest.
Meanwhile, in May this year, the EOW had arrested Dharmesh Jain and Rajiv Jain in another housing fraud case in which 54 home buyers had filed police complaints. The complainants had alleged that the developer had taken money from them in 2010-11 for flats in a Mulund (West) project, but failed to hand them over.