MUMBAI: A developer, six officials of the Slum Rehabiliation Authority (SRA) and three others have been booked by the Vanrai police in a case of cheating and forgery. The complainant, Umesh Patel, 63, had approached a magistrate court at Borivali stating that an attempt was being made to grab his property located at Goregaon East. On the directions of the court, the police lodged an FIR. A detailed probe will be conducted before making any arrests, police said.
Patel, a Juhu resident, owned around 15986 sq metres of land at Hanuman Tekdi in Goregaon. According to his complaint, he sold 95% of the land (15219 sq metres) to Indu Constructions through its proprietor Nandkishore Bhandari. A conveyance deed was registered in 2006. Last year, Patel decided to sell the balance 767 sq metres of land to an acquaintance, H Naik. "The deal was ongoing when Naik found out that Bhandari was laying claim to the entire property, including the balance of 767 sq metres.
"Since the land was covered with slums, Bhandari had approached the SRA and submitted a scheme for development. On the basis of documents submitted by Bhandari, the SRA granted him a letter of intent (LOI) in December 2012," said Patel's counsel, Sachin Mhatre.
Naik then sent a notice to the SRA asking them to amend the LOI by deleting 767 sq metres of land which he was purchasing from Patel. The SRA responded that the 7/12 extracts of the entire property were in Bhandari's name.
"Through an RTI application, Patel accessed documents related to his deal with Bhandari. He suspected that his signature was forged on a deed of rectification in 2013," said Mhatre. The police were not willing to register his complaint. Patel then approached the Borivali magistrate court. In his complaint, he also accused certain SRA officials of being hand-in-glove with the developer.
Bhandari's business partner, Hitesh P, refuted the allegations. "We have filed a complaint against Patel at the Andheri magistrate court and the matter is still being heard. We had also sent legal notices to Patel, after learning about his property deal with Naik, but there was no response from him. We have all the necessary papers to support our claim," he said.
Officials from the Vanrai police station said they are in the process of procuring all concerned documents to verify claims made by both parties.