MUMBAI: The Economic Offences wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on Monday arrested builder Jitendra Jain of Kamlashri Builder and Kamla Landmarc Constructions in a cheating case registered after over 30 apartment buyers moved the Bombay High Court two weeks ago. The case pertains to the incomplete 17-storey upscale Shimmer building in Santacruz (W).
Meanwhile, the HC directed that Jain, his brother Jinendra, father Ramesh and brother-in-law Ketan Shah, deposit their passports in court and ordered them not to leave the country without prior permission. Jain’s lawyer was not reachable for comment.
An EOW officer confirmed the arrest. Last week, the HC directed the EOW to investigate the ‘fabricated commencement certificate (CC)’ of the building. One of the flat buyers Rajeev Mathur was called by EOW to give his statement as a complainant. He said the builder had annexed a few flat sale agreements, a fabricated CC and failed to give possession of flats despite collecting over Rs 60 crore from buyers since 2009. The builder has been accused of criminal breach of trust, cheating, forgery and criminal conspiracy to cheat under the IPC and also double sale of few flats, an offence under the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act.
This is the first case where the EOW arrested Jain. He has several cases against him, observed Justice S J Kathawalla. The judge slammed the Jain brothers for “cheating’’ flat buyers. The HC observed there were three different CCs, one of which said permission was till the fifth floor, but had an overwritten ‘8’ on it and yet another document by the building’s architect B S Joshi said the CC was only till the stilt level. All three were 2010 documents. The buyers had moved the HC through solicitor Priyahas Jani to appoint a receiver. The builder’s counsel Raj Patel showed the court a “proposed plan’’ by Kamlashri to complete the building but the HC said it “appears to be a mere eyewash and not acceptable to the flat purchasers.’’
A Dindoshi court last year stayed demolition after the builder moved it against a civic stop work order, saying it had CC up to 17 floors. “These allegations were made in the plaint only to mislead the court,’’ said the HC.
In the HC, the BMC admitted all sanction files on Shimmer were missing, as were 2,000 others from the building proposal department. Justice Kathawalla observed the BMC however did not bother to investigate the lost files nor reply to the false statements made by the builder before the city civil court. “Therefore, the Corporation too needs to explain a lot in this matter,’’ he said and directed that civic chief Ajoy Mehta himself file a reply in the matter now.
The HC, which called B S Joshi, the building’s architect till 2013 to explain variations in the CC, observed how he “was determined not to cooperate with the court’’. “He has given vague answers clearly with the intention of protecting the builders,’’ said the judge. He observed “in the end Joshi admitted endorsements allowing construction up to the eighth floor and 17th floor were fabricated.’’ The court said it “strongly deprecated…such dishonest conduct of Joshi, a professional.’’
Credits ET Realty