On Wednesday, non-bailable warrants were issued against Punit Beriwala, the MD of Vipul Infrastructure Developers.
NEW DELHI: With the Supreme Court recently cracking the whip on errant builders, a Delhi court has taken a strong stand and directed the managing director of a major realty firm to surrender. The court also dismissed his anticipatory bail in a cheating case.
On Wednesday, non-bailable warrants were issued against Punit Beriwala, the MD of Vipul Infrastructure Developers. He was ordered to surrender in the criminal case relating to a south Delhi property where the company is accused of duping a buyer.
Interestingly, the economic offences wing (EOW) of Delhi Police had given the company a clean chit terming the matter a civil dispute. However, Additional Sessions Judge AK Jain found that the accused had sold a flat in Aurobindo Marg to a different buyer before receiving the registration money from the complainant.
The court took a grim view of the conduct of the accused and observed: “It is a fact that these builders are harassing and cheating innocent victims on one or the other pretext.” It also took note of the “long drawn legal battle” undertaken by the complainant in the case.
The judge also observed that the very fact the flat was sold to another buyer “prima facie suggests that the firm has an intention to cheat the complainant since the beginning.” It pointed out that even in a summoning in complaint cases “bail is not automatic.”
The complaint filed by Nishi Gupta states that her mother-in-law had paid Rs 20 lakh to the firm by cheque in 2005 to purchase a flat at Aurobindo Marg. The company later admitted in court that it received the amount even though the contract was an oral one.
Appearing for Gupta, her lawyer Ambar Qamaruddin told the court how suddenly the company went silent after receiving the first set of payments and later insisted on cash payments. Awaiting possession of her property, Gupta’s mother-in-law died but willed the flat to her.
When the complaint reached court and a status report was called for from EOW, the latter maintained it was at best a civil dispute claiming no cognisable offence was made out. However, the court decided to summon Beriwala recording the fact that the company conceded it had received Rs 20 lakh from Gupta even as it had sold off the flat to another buyer.