The Chatushrungi police on Thursday night registered a case of cheating, extortion and other charges against Mumbai-based Macrotech Developers and its directors following an order by a Pune magisterial court in a private complaint filed by a 54-year-old woman lawyer over a deal for purchase of flat in a realty project at Worli in Mumbai.
The woman, who, according to her lawyer, did not wish to be named, said in her complaint that in 2013 she booked a 39th floor flat in the project which was to be completed by December 2017, but was delayed till 2019.
In between, the developer started pressurizing her for cancellation of their agreement to sell or pay the prevailing market value of the flat which was much higher than the Rs 5.59 crore agreed consideration. The woman claimed she has paid almost 70% of the consideration to the developer and felt threatened by the latter’s pressure tactics.
Judicial magistrate first class (JMFC) M P Pardeshi said in her March 10 order, “It is alleged…the accused…cheated the complainant and committed breach of trust by assuring her to sale the alleged flat for the consideration amount of Rs 5.25 crore to Rs 5.51 crore. They have used all possible means of pressures…to make the complainant succumb to their illegal demands of cancelling the documents with respect to the flat thereby causing wrongful loss to the complainant and wrongful gain to themselves.”
“The complaint prima facie discloses cognizable offence. Therefore…Chatushrungi police are directed to hold an investigation under Section 156 (3) CrPC after registration of offence,” the JMFC said.
Senior lawyer Harshad Nimbalkar, who represented the complainant, said, “The police recorded our client’s statement after registering the FIR last (Thursday) night. They will now send a report to the court.” Senior inspector Anil Shewale said, “We have booked the developer and three others on charges under sections 384 & 385 (both related to extortion), 406 (criminal breach of trust), 420 (cheating), 120-B (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of the IPC. The complainant invested in a housing project at Worli, but all financial transactions were conducted in Pune. We have asked her to hand over all relevant documents. After studying them, we will summon the developer and others for questioning.”
“The complainant is a defaulter who has not made payment of her dues for many years and has thereafter refused to pay applicable interest as per RERA. We have filed case against her in RERA for default and cancellation more than 12 months ago. Last year, she had filed the same case in relevant police station in Mumbai and due to no evidence found to support the complainant’s unsubstantial claims the case was closed, proving the company had not committed any wrong. It appears that she has not disclosed aforesaid information to obtain this new order which, in any event, only says that Police should look into the matter – we will file appeal against this illegally obtained order soon”, say Macrotech Developers.