New Delhi: The economic Offences Wing of Delhi Police today (31 August 2018) registered an FIR against Emaar MGF Land Limited (also called Emaar India), its directors and officials on a complaint lodged by a number of buyers who have alleged that they have been cheated by the company that lured them with false representations to invest their hard earned money in buying flats in the “Palm Gardens” Group Housing Complex at Sector – 83 in Gurgaon.
Emaar MGF, its directors and officers have been accused of committing the offence of cheating and fraud against the Complainants. Apart from the Complainants, there are hundreds of other buyers have also been defrauded by the accused company, it is alleged and the total amount of fraud and cheating committed by the Accused Company is more than Rs. 20 million, according to t he complainants.
In the year 2011, the accused company had advertised to promote its Group Housing Complex, in the name of “PALM GARDENS” at Sector – 83 in Gurgaon. The Complainants have told the EOW that they were lured into investing their hard earned money in the Palm Gardens Project based on the rosy picture presented by the accused Company.
The EMAAR website says: “Palm Gardens embraces you with vast expanses of inter-connected theme gardens with aesthetically designed water bodies. Bask in the serenity of living close to nature in the choicest upscale residences, including luxury penthouses. The central green area of the community sprawls over a luxuriant 8 acres and is replete with all the amenities you desire. A mini golf course, swimming pool, 3 km jogging track, fully equipped clubhouse, health club, tennis, badminton and basket ball courts and an exclusive kids play area ensure there’s never a dull moment. Strategically located on the state highway, off the Dwarka Expressway, it offers excellent connectivity to Gurugram, Delhi and Indira Gandhi International Airport (T3).”
There were flashy advertisements, promotion brochures, besides digital marketing and other channels were used to induce hundreds of innocent people into purchasing flats in Palm Gardens Project though the accused Company never had the intention to deliver the project in time in accordance with the provisions of the Buyer’s agreement, it has been underscored by the complainants, who have also alleged that the accused company wanted to collect money from the people and thereafter divert the funds for other purposes.
To drive home their point about diversion of funds collected from the buyers, the complainants have alleged in their complaint lodged with the EOW that the accused company had siphoned off the amount paid by the complainants and deposited it in an escrow account to use it for completing other projects, thereby causing wrongful loss to them and wrongful gain to themselves. When pressed to meet its commitment, the accused company wrote to the complainants and other home buyers that funds were being brought into the company to complete the incomplete projects for which about 90-95 % amount had already been demanded and collected from the buyers by the company till 2014.
The complainants have accused the company of making fraudulent promises and representations – especially that the flats will be constructed as per schedule and possession will be handed over within 3 years. This induced the buyers to invest their money in the Palm Gardens Project. The company also misled the buyers by giving false information regarding the master plan and layout of the Palm Gardens Project in order to extract more money from the flat buyers, the EOW has been in told.
There was excessive delay in starting the construction of flats in the Palm Gardens Project launched in 2010-2011. The deadline for handing over the flats was 2015 but the flats, which are incomplete, have not been handed over to the complainants till date.
Besides the gross delay in handing over the flats, the company also has been accused of misrepresenting the project layout details at the time of booking. This according to the complainants was with the purpose of extracting a high premium and PLC (preferred location charges) from the buyers. Land not belonging to company, including revenue land used by people as thoroughfare, was shown as project land. Besides, the land initially shown for development of central greens and for constructing a 24 m wide approach road near Gate 1 was represented as the land owned by the accused company, which has now changed the location of the green area from what was earlier shown at the time of the booking of apartments. The revised Plan will make the area congested once the possession is handed over, the complainants have pointed out.
The company misrepresented facts by telling the buyers that all the necessary approvals from the Government authorities have been obtained and in this way the buyers were duped and were charged illegal taxes and fees. Whereas, project layout specifying the extent of land, green areas etc., as shown in the Buyers’ Agreement, was never approved by the Government of Haryana and DTCP. The accused company also collected excess EDC/IDC (government / Levies) and concealed the excess collection of taxes and retained the amounts in some undisclosed account, the complainants have alleged adding it was only after the Complainants and other home buyers took up this matter that the accused company selectively refunded the excess tax collected during the year 2016-17 paying an interest of 8% on the excess EDC/IDC while the buyers were paying an interest of 9.5 % to lending banks for money borrowed to pay this amount to the company.
Further, it has been recorded in the FIR that the accused company continued to deny site inspection to the complainants and also to the Banks. Still the banks approved the project, and continued to sanction and disburse the loans. It has also been pointed out that the company made a fraudulent document stating that the construction was going on schedule and the apartment/flat will be delivered in Q3 2015, whereas the construction was much behind schedule in 2015.
Another point of complaint against the accused company is that there is no direct connection with NH-8 whereas the buyers were lured with the projection that the Palm Gardens Project would be linked directly with NH-8.
It has also been recorded in the FIR that the revised layout plan shared by the accused company in November, 2016 has critical changes in the original master plan. Such changes are extremely detrimental in nature and have completely changed the basis on which the complainants had given consent for buying the flats. Contrary to what was initially projected, Tower 2 has no Central Greens View and has been constructed right opposite the club. Initially, the allottees of Tower 2 were being charged preferential location charges because the Tower 2 had a central view. The accused company is still charging PLC for this Tower Similarly, Recreational and Green Area behind Tower 6 has been reduced in size. But, as in the case of Tower 2, PLC is also being charged for this Tower. Besides, Tower 8 has been shifted right behind Tower 7. Another allegation, contrary to what is even now being projected on the Emaar India website, is that the mini Golf course, jogging track and Water fountain are also no longer there in the new layout plan.