September 22, 2021 10:57:31 pm
IN ITS detailed order discharging the son and nephew of NCP leader Chhagan Bhujbal in a cheating case filed against them in connection with a development project, the court has said that there is no evidence to show that there was any criminal conspiracy to cheat flat buyers.
Bhujbal’s son Pankaj, nephew Sameer and two others were discharged from the case, filed in 2015, where it was claimed that potential buyers were misrepresented to the tune of Rs 44 crore for the sale of 2,344 flats in Kharghar in Raigad district. The court said the FIR against them had resulted out of a civil dispute which was given the ‘colour of criminal offence’.
“No fraudulent or dishonest intention at the time of accepting the booking amount from the customer is seen,” additional sessions judge H S Satbhai said in his order passed earlier this month.
The complaint dated back to a 2015 case filed with the Economic Offences Wing in Taloja. It was claimed that the directors of Devisha Infrastructure Private Limited, including the Bhujbals, were to develop a project called Hexworld on a 25-acre plot. It was alleged that it was hidden that the developers did not have the land in its name, nor its possession, or construction-related permission to develop it. The complaint said that the flats were not handed over to them even after three years of booking.
The court said that the directors had invested an additional Rs 70 crore over the money received from the buyers and spent it on buying land and on construction. It said that there was no proof of the allegation that the money given by buyers was not utilized for the project.
It said that while the agreement was drawn to complete the project in 2009, it was completed till the plinth level in 2013. Following that the project was stalled as planning authority CIDCO created an obstruction on the access road.
It said that the property was also attached in connection with a separate Enforcement Directorate investigation. But the developers had made a representation before the authorities to resolve the problem. It also said that the money of 200 flat buyers was refunded.
The court said that an earlier project was successfully completed by the firm, which showed that they did not begin the project with an intention to cheat. The court also considered the ‘vastness’ of the project at 14 buildings of 32 floors each.
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