NOIDA: Sixty people have lodged complaints with the Noida Authority, claiming one of its employees cheated them out of crores of rupees on the pretext of allotting them plots in the city's prime locations.
Noida Authority officials on Thursday said prima facie, the employee, Nitin Rathi, has been found guilty and that departmental and legal action will soon be initated against him. "We have received several complaints against Rathi, an assistant in the Authority's sports department. He had taken money from these buyers on the pretext of allotting them plots and had even generated fake documents to gain their confidence," said Noida Authority's additional CEO V K Panwar.
Rathi's modus operandi was very convincing, officials said. He would introduce himself as a senior Authority official and lure his victims with fake documents, purportedly having signatures of top officials. In order to gain their confidence, he would ask his victims to deposit a part of the total cost of the plot in the Authority's official bank account through a demand draft, and a substantial portion of the cost to him, in cash.
"Being an employee of Noida Authority, he was aware of the workings and document-drafting style. He generated fake documents of plots. Rathi knew that the Authority does not deal in cash. So, apart from taking a portion in cash, he asked his victims to deposit a part of the total cost of the plot in Noida Authority's official bank account," said Manoj Rai, the in-charge of the sports department.
But Rathi's luck ran out when Authority officials discovered some mistakes he made in one of the fake plot allotment letters, issued to one of the buyers, purportedly by the land department, whereas such documents are issued by the planning department. TOI has a copy of the letter.
"We have called a meeting of the buyers on Friday. After examining the facts, the Authority will refund the money of those who had deposited in the account of the Noida Authority," Rai said.
Some of the victims, who did not wish to be identified, alleged that Rathi has good connections with a few high-ranking officials of the Authority and also with some senior leaders of both Bahujan Samaj Party and the ruling Samajwadi Party.
Rathi had joined the Authority in October 2010 following the death of his father who was an employee in the Authority. He is now absconding.