In the wake of Supreme Court’s observation that “Delhi Police is free to arrest/take into custody any or all other directors of Amrapali group of companies”, a “facilitation centre” has been set up for home buyers with complaints, at the Economic Offences Wing in Mandir Marg police station.
Since the centre came up on March 1, police have received 121 complaints from homebuyers against various projects of the real estate giant. From 10 am to 6 pm daily, a sub-inspector and an assistant sub-inspector diligently record complainants in a register.
Suvashis Choudhary, Additional CP, EoW, said, “The SC order is looking at the matter very seriously and we do not want people to feel they are being pushed around, so we have set up this centre. There are already 14 cases against Amrapali with us and with these complaints, we will see if we need to conduct separate investigations or make them a part of previous cases.”
Apart from making it clear that the Delhi Police is free to arrest directors of Amrapali, the SC, in its February 28 order, had said: “Let police investigate the entire gamut of the scenario of the various projects, as projected in this case and various orders passed, and investigate the entire matter.”
So far, all 121 complaints pertain to projects in Noida and Greater Noida. Choudhary said this is a “complicated investigation” since there was alleged “layering of money”. “In such cases, usually there is a web of companies, and they keep transferring money from one company to another. Forensic auditors are working to figure out how the money was siphoned,” he said.
Outside the facilitation centre sat Karan Soni (33) with a bundle of paperwork, including a complaint letter he had just finished writing. He has with him documents that need to be submitted with his complaint letter — the builder-buyer agreement, transaction details and receipts.
“In 2007, we heard Amrapali was building Tech Park in Greater Noida and we booked a shop there. Within a year, we paid them the full sum, and the shop was to be in our possession by 2010. It’s 2019 and we still haven’t got it,” said Soni, who found out about the centre through a WhatsApp group of aggrieved parties.
At the centre, the two officers in-charge found themselves listening to complaints of homes not delivered, savings running out and EMIs pending. “We have also come across people who are co-complainants already but hope that this centre can be of more help. Apart from those who invested in these properties a decade ago and have given 70-100 per cent of the payment, there are also those who gave 10 per cent of the payment for a project in 2015-16. The amount might be small, but money is money,” said one officer.