A fews days after a case of cheating and fraud was registered against real estate developer Vatika Group’s Managing Director and three others, senior officials of the group have said that they were being implicated in a false case.
The group’s Managing Director Gautam Bhalla, Directors Anil Bhalla and Gaurav Bhalla and the company’s sales and client service head Ankit Nagpal were booked on the basis of a complaint by Delhi’s Santpura resident Suman Preet Kaur and her husband Surender Pal Singh on September 7.
The FIR was registered under Sections 406 (breach of trust) and 420 (cheating) of the Indian Penal Code at the Sector 29 police station in Gurgaon.
The two complainants said in their FIR that they had booked a flat in Vatika One Express City in July 2014 and had paid the money amounting to around Rs 22 lakh in instalments. However, in December 2015 when they visited the site, it was still a barren land, they said.
Following this they wanted refund of the money, but one company official, Nagpal, told them that the project had been scrapped and that they should transfer the money to a new project after which the refund would be easier, the complainants said.
They transferred the booking — to Vatika Seven Elements — but they had not got their money back, the couple said.
However, Vatika officials said that the complainants had not talked at all about the “undertaking” by Kaur in March 2016 that she had got back as refund Rs 21.54 lakh which was transferred by them “voluntarily” to book a flat at Vatika Seven Elements. “Construction on the project is as per schedule and deliveries are expected likewise,” the company said in a statement.
An earlier report in IANS had quoted a police officer as saying that the complainant (Kaur) had invested the money in “an assured return scheme” of Vatika group. This is incorrect as the money had been invested in Vatika One Express City, a residential project.
When contacted, Surinder Pal Singh, Kaur’s husband, said “there was a huge difference” in property promised and the property that was being offered to them.
“I paid my installment each time beforehand but after one year they told me that the project (Vatika One Express City) had been scrapped and no payment could be refunded. I kept calling them for a refund but they never gave any,” Singh told IANS.
Singh said that he was then approached by Nagpal (one of the accused in the FIR) who “forced his wife and him to go for another property at Seven Elements, owned by Vatika Group, since no refund was possible as previous project was scrapped.”
He said that the property offered to them as replacement “is in the interiors of Gurgaon while the one I had originally invested in was bang on Dwarka Expressway. I pleaded with them to give me a refund but they never relented and kept lying,” he said.
Citing the ‘undertaking’ which Kaur had given when she was alloted the alternative property, Vikas Manhas, CRM Head Vatika Group, said, “I am sure the police would find the truth and reality during their investigation”.
Vineet Taing, President of the Vatika Group, also accused the couple of “misrepresenting the facts before the police,” and hoped that “sooner or later, the truth will surface as she tried to tarnish our reputation”. He said that “the top priority of Vatika — right from the day of its inception — is to safeguard the interest of buyers. The complainants have been hiding and misinterpreting the facts before the police.”
Police officer Kanwar Singh said that the police were investigating the case. The case was registered after an inquiry by the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the police.