The Mumbai police arrested Pujit Aggarwal, MD and CEO of publicly listed real-estate firm Orbit Corporation under the charges of cheating and violation of Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act of 1963. The arrest followed a complaint filed by financial institution Capri Global Capital Ltd for cheating worth Rs 2.55 crore.
On Thursday, the police brought the realty developer at first class magistrate court where Justice RM Jadhav directed to keep Aggarwal in police custody till September 12.
According to the complaint filed by the financial institution, it had bought three apartments at Orbit Residency Park, one of Orbit Corp’s projects, at Andheri in Mumbai for about Rs 2.55 crore in 2008. However, the capital was never deposited into an escrow account which was supposed to be maintained as part of the developer’s agreement with its lender LIC Housing Finance (LICHF).
In June last year, after Orbit Corp defaulted on repayment of loans worth Rs 96 crore of the total dues of Rs 250 crore, LICHF had put part of the firm’s several projects including Orbit Residency Park on the block to recover its dues. LICHF has also classified the company as a non-performing asset and served a recovery notice.
“We had invested Rs 2.53 crore in three flats in Orbit Residency Park that was promoted by Pujit Aggarwal and his father Ravikiran Aggarwal. They (Orbit Corp) had mortgaged the project with LIC Housing Finance and was supposed to deposit sale proceeds of the flats in an escrow account with HDFC Bank,” said Dippy Vankani, spokesperson of Capri Global Capital.
“Aggarwals cheated us by not depositing the money in that account. So when LICHFL took over possession (of the property) after they failed to repay the loan, they derecognised many investors like us. Based on our complaint, the police registered a case against the Aggarwals under Sections 420 and 34 of the IPC,” Vankani said.
An email query sent to Orbit Corporation did not elicit any response.
On the day of Aggarwal’s arrest, company’s stock closed 9.43% down at Rs 6.53 on BSE while shares of Capri Global Capital closed 13.68% up at Rs 238 on the exchange.
In January, Bombay High Court asked an official liquidator to seize all the assets, books and records of city based developer Mantri Realty in connection with cheating and fraud cases filed by a bunch of investors and lenders.
The order said the company’s chairman and managing director Sunil Mantri had allegedly misrepresented facts and directed him and three other directors to not leave the country. The court has also asked the company to not sell any of its assets or create any third party right on it.
In the same month, a Delhi court sent Unitech Ltd chairman Ramesh Chandra and two managing directors to 14-day judicial custody in alleged cheating cases filed by two investors.
In another related incident, the Mohali District consumer court recently asked real estate firm Omaxe to refund Rs 1.26 lakh and compensate Rs 25,000 to a complainant—Abhinav Jindal—who alleged that the construction of his flat was delayed by years.
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