Mumbai: A gynaecologist couple from Aurangabad was allegedly duped of Rs 5.5 crore by a builder from Mumbai. They said they were offered a flat and shares in a 10-storey building project in Bandra, which never came up. The builder had provided them a forged commencement certificate, they alleged.
The builder, Harihar Mahapatra, and his wife Priti met Percy and Manju Jilla in 2011, when they wanted fertility treatment at their Aurangabad hospital. They introduced themselves as proprietors of HM Skyscrapers Pvt Ltd, claiming to be a leading developer in Mumbai.
The couple would put them up in five star hotels in the city during their visits for treatment. When the Mahapatras and Jillas became friends, the latter would let them stay at their house. During one visit, when the couple stayed for about eight days, they proposed investment in their upcoming project.
Percy told TOI, "Harihar often boasted about his connections with ministers, industrialists and senior police officials. He wanted us to invest Rs 8-10 crore in a 10-storey project consisting of 5,469 sq ft flats in Bandra in 2012. He offered us a flat on the 10th floor and 30% profit in return. Percy added, "He also gave me a fake commencement certificate, and collected money in installments. Once, he invited us to Mumbai and showed us an open plot near the additional commissioner's office, where he said the building would come up."
The Jillas got suspicious in 2013, after Rs 5.5 crore was handed over, and he claimed he had purchased an airline. When they obtained a true copy of the certificate through RTI, they realized it dated back to May 2004, of a building in Jogeshwari. They said the office address was also false.
The Jillas lodged a police complaint when the builder refused to return their money. The Jinsi police have registered a case under various sections of the IPC. Aurangabad police chief said, "We have registered a case of cheating based on the complaint. He will soon be rounded up for further investigations."
The builder was not available for comment.