Pune flat fraud: Depositors throng Maple office for refund
PUNE : Depositors queued up in front of the office of Maple Group here on Thursday as the firm, accused of misleading people to promote its low-cost housing scheme, started refunding money following registration of a case for cheating.
The people, mainly from low income groups, lined up to recover Rs 1,145, which they paid for registration for the one-bedroom flats priced at Rs 5 lakh each in the advertisement.
The firm on Wednesday apologised for the “confusion and inconvenience” caused to people through its advertisements.
Maple Group had recently published advertisements promising a one-bedroom, hall, kitchen (1 BHK) flat for just Rs 5 lakh on the outskirts of the city.
The advertisement carried pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat, apparently to “mislead” people into believing the project, titled ‘Maharashtra Housing Day’, was a part of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana (PMAY).
The firm, headed by Sachin Agarwal, deployed bouncers to deal with restive depositors who expressed their resentment at the government’s “negligence in allowing” the builder to roll out the dubious scheme.
Around 20,000 people had enrolled for the scheme that was to carry out registrations till May 1, Investigating officer of Economic Offences Wing Dipak Sakore said, adding, “Around 1,200 people reclaimed their money today.”
Booking was done both online and physically. The promoters could face arrest depending on the evidence collected in the case, he said.
Bapat is being targeted by the opposition parties over the dubious scheme. Congress, NCP and MNS have demanded his resignation alleging that the firm indulged in the “fraud” with his blessings.
Bapat has already denied the charge, saying he never had any personal contact or meeting with Agarwal and the government has taken a swift action in freezing accounts of the firm, initiating police action and ensuring refund of people’s money.
Source : ETRealty