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Pune fraudulent housing advertising: Case filed against Maple Group officials; Girish Bapat vows strict action

Police sub-inspector Narayan Palampalle, attached to the Shivajinagar police station, lodged the first information report (FIR).

 pune Fraudulent housing advertising, maple group, maple group pune, pune maple group, Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna, pune police, indian express pune, Shivajinagar police station A flex advertisement of Maple Group torn allegedly by MNS activists. Express photo

THE PUNE city police on Tuesday registered an offence of cheating against the officials of the Maple Group for the firm’s “fraudulent” advertising of one-bedroom flats for Rs five lakh each as part of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (PMAY). The offence has been registered at the Shivajinagar police station.

Police sub-inspector Narayan Palampalle, attached to the Shivajinagar police station, lodged the first information report (FIR). Police have booked Sachin Ashok Agarwal, Naveen Ashok Agarwal and sales manager Priyanka Agarwal and other officials of the Maple Group under section 420, 417, 120 (b), 34 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

The offence was registered on the basis of a letter issued by Nirmal Deshmukh, mission director of PMAY, newspaper advertisements of Maple Group that is alleged to be fake and statements of Sagar Balkrushna Ajabe and Vishal Rajendra Agarwal.

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Police have alleged that Maple Group started registrations by promising 1 BHK flats at Rs 5 lakh, but did not mention the area, thereby misleading people. The economic offences wing (EOW) of the Pune police crime branch is investigating the case further.

Meanwhile, the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) activists ransacked the office of Maple Group in Shivajinagar on Tuesday. In a press release issued by Ajay Shinde, city unit chief of MNS, it is stated that Maple Group is cheating people by promising homes at a low price through its “Apla Ghar” scheme. MNS has demanded an inquiry against this group.

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Launched a few weeks ago, the group had invited applications to buy 1 BHK flat at Rs 5 lakh under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. In its publicity material, the group had put a disclaimer that the ongoing projects were not a government scheme but was an initiative undertaken by the group.

The advertisement, which was published last week, carried the photographs of the Prime Minister, the Maharashtra Chief Minister and Guardian Minister of Pune Girish Bapat.

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RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar and BJP MP Kirit Somaiya had written letters to the state doubting the scheme. Following complaints, Minister of Housing Prakash Mehta had clarified that the government had nothing to do with the project. Also, the state had ordered an inquiry in the matter.

Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat has directed the Pune collector to issue orders to stop booking under the scheme of the Maple group.

“This is not a government scheme as showcased by the builder. We have asked the Pune Collector to issue orders to stop bookings and ensure that the properties cannot be sold or transferred based on the directions issued by the revenue department. We had a detailed check from the Central government for the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana as well as from the state’s Maharashtra Housing Development Authority (MHADA) and after assessment of papers, it has been found that there were no permissions sought under both the schemes. A complaint will be registered by the government against the builder on the same,” said Bapat. Moreover, we will have the revenue department issue separate orders to prevent the builder from transfer or sell the land tomorrow itself, he said, adding, “we will ensure that the amount is returned to the consumers. We will file complaints for using our photos.”

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Meanwhile, Maple Group spokesperson could not be reached for comments.

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First published on: 20-04-2016 at 01:21:47 am
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