THE Borivali Metropolitan Magistrate court has issued an arrest warrant against Vikas Oberoi, director of Oberoi Constructions and three others for not attending court proceedings on a timely basis. Oberoi and his staff are charged under Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act-1963 (MOFA) for selling a flat to another buyer without informing the first buyer.
On April 5, 2014 the court issued arrest warrant against Vikas Oberoi, sales manager Rochelle Chatterjee, Bhagwati Raghani and Dinesh Nigudkar for not appearing for the court proceedings. Copy of the warrant is available with ABI.
“The Metropolitan Magistrate, 67th Court, Borivali had issued summons against aforesaid four persons. The said order was challenged by Oberoi by filing revision petition (No-53/2013) before Sessions Court, Dindoshi. The Sessions Court on September 25, 2013 had dismissed the revision application. Inspite of dismissal of the Revision petition, the accused failed to remain present before the court on 5th April 5, 2014. Therefore court had issued a warrant against them,” said Shaila Pathak, the complainant and advocate by profession.
On October 8, 2012, Shaila Pathak, the owner of a 3BHK flat in Oberoi’s Splendor Project had lodged a complaint against Oberoi alleging that the developer had sold out a single flat to two persons despite Pathak — first buyer — paying over 50 per cent of the total value of the flat. As per MOFA rules, if an investor has paid even 20 per cent of the total value, the builder cannot sell the flat to another buyer. On November 23, 2012 the Metropolitan Magistrate Court in Borivli (W) had registered an offence (copy available with ABI) against Vikas Oberoi, director of Oberoi Constructions, Rochelle Chatterjee, Bhagwati Raghani and Dinesh Nigudkar under sections 420 (cheating) 406 (criminal breach of trust), r/w Act 34 of the IPC and section 13 of the Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act (MOFA).
According to Pathak she had booked a 3BHK flat in Oberoi’s Splendor Project, Andheri (East), in April 2007. The total value of the property was then pegged at Rs 95.50 lakh, which as per today’s market rate, is estimated at Rs 2.25 crore. She added that on April 30, 2007, Oberoi issued her allotment letter after she made a down payment of over Rs 10 lakh, and has paid approximately Rs 60 lakh till date.
Pathak’s husband Santosh Pathak is an estate agent and knows how builders operate. He felt something was amiss. On November 23, 2011, Santosh published a notice in news papers stating that she (Shaila) was the owner of flat no 803 and no one should deal with the same. Pathak was shocked when on December 10, 2011, Oberoi informed her that her allotment was cancelled and the flat was sold to a person named Rahul Suri.
“Actually warrant was not issued, it was only ordered. Mr. Oberoi was having health issues so he failed to attend the court proceedings. He went to the court and got the order cancelled,” Reema Kundanani, Vice President – Marketing and Corporate Communication, Oberoi reality.
Earlier FIR (MECR) against Oberoi
The Meghwadi police in Andehri have registered a Magistrate Enquiry Crime Register (MECR) against famous builder Vikas Oberoi under several serious sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC). Oberoi has allegedly cheated 1200 flat owners by not fulfilling his promises and also has violated several BMC norms.
On August 13, metropolitan magistrate, railway mobile court, Andheri passed an order (copy available with ABI) to register MECR against Oberoi and his construction company. On September 3, Meghwadi police registered an MECR (copy available with ABI) against Oberoi, sales manager Rochelle Chattergee and his construction company M/S Oberoi reality Ltd under sections 341, 406, 420, 465, 468, 471, 506 (II) read with sections 107, 109 and 120(B) of the IPC, Section 13 of the M.O.F. act, section 52 of the Maharastra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) act.
Mohit Bhardwaj, a resident of same complex registered MECR on behalf of 1200 families.
According to MECR, in 2006, Oberoi had advertised that he is constructing 1008 flats in three towers, 21 stories each, on 90,014.30 Sq meter land in a luxury project on Jogeshwari-Vikhroli Link Road, Jogeshwari (east). He showed well furnished sample flat of 987 sq meter of each. That would be provided with adequate modern amenities i.e. club house, swimming pool, squash court, Spa, party hall, jogging park, tennis court, amphitheatre, camping site, plaza, landscaped garden, bamboo garden, skating rink, gazebo etc. He had also promised that after selling of 60% flats he will register the flats and also will give the possession in August 2009. But after selling of 75% flats he did not registered the flats.
In 2010 Oberoi informed to buyers that he is changing name of his company from Oberoi Reality Ltd to Oberoi Grande. Later buyers came to know that under new brand Oberoi illegally constructed new 26 stories building having 1,404 flats on same premises.
The flat owners alleged that on several occasions they were abused, insulted by Oberoi staff and security guards. Oberoi allegedly also appointed two goons Soumil Daru and Arun Kotian on construction site for threatening to the buyers.
“Oberoi have created a fraudulent society using signed blank forms taken during possession and used muscle power to make residents accept it, and still continue doing it and residents live in constant fear and confinement,” said a flat owner.
Fed up with this attitude of Oberoi, buyers formed “Oberoi Splendor Flat Owners Association (OSFOA)” and started legal fight.
After taking possession in July 2011, the buyers were again shocked to see that their buildup area was less by 94 Sq Feet.
“Oberoi changed floor plans. The numbers of floors were increased and a completely new building was constructed criminally keeping flat purchasers unaware right from the time flats were sold in 2006. Plans which were not as per the current plans were shown as BMC approved plans to flat buyers. Oberoi had not given the land as per the built up area to the fraudulent society formed. Around 30,000 Sq meters more than presently shown as society boundary is required,” said Bhardwaj.
The allegations on Oberoi
1- Oberoi collected Rs 7,000 (total Rs 90, 00,000) per buyer for providing Mahanagar Gas connection but has not provided connection till now.
2- Oberoi collected Rs 2, 68, 92,920 for property tax but not furnished any details.
3- Oberoi collected Rs 46, 65, 00,000 as maintainance charges but buyers alleged he did nothing.
4- Oberoi collected Rs 6, 00,000 (total Rs 43, 76, 00, 00) per buyer as VAT charges but had not given receipt to the buyers.
5- On name of society registration, parking, property tax and other government charges Oberoi collected Rs 10,10,88,000 but not giving details.
6- Oberoi earlier took Rs 4, 00,000 for parking but before giving possession took Rs 3, 00,000 extra. He extorted extra money total Rs 57, 53, 00,000 on parking.
7- Oberoi allegedly cheated Rs 142.56 crore from this project.