MOHALI: Raghubir Sharma of Phase IX invested his hard-earned Rs 60 lakh as advance money in an upcoming residential colony near Zirakpur in 2010. The company assured to give possession of his flat by December, 2013. But builder Sandhu Ram failed to meet the deadline as he had not even completed foundation work of the building, prompting Sharma to file a criminal and civil case against him. Jayshal Sood too failed to get possession of his house in an ambitious project, Royal Empire, at the promised date. He entered the house after filing FIRs against the proprietors of the company. Hundreds were affected in this housing project.
More and more persons like Sharma and Jayshal were falling prey to greedy and inefficient colonizers. Police record stated that about 226 cases involving property frauds and cheating were reported in last four years in Zirakpur and Derabassi.
Jayshal said, "It is very difficult to believe promises of companies launching big housing projects. It is not easy to get possession of houses, plots or property located in the periphery. You will not be surprised to learn your plot has already been sold to someone else and the owners have secured loan on that property."
Gaurav, a resident of Punjab Colony located at Mubarakpur road near Derabassi, said, "We bought 5 kanal marla land in the colony eight years back. We constructed a house by spending Rs 12 lakh, but we later learnt that our house is located on agricultural land. It will take another few years for sewerage and other basis amenities to come up in the colony."
Apart from private colonies, more than 50 cases related to property frauds in which land owner sold a plot to three persons were also being investigated by the Mohali police.
A senior police official said the modus operandi of colonizers was the same. "They take advance money from interested buyers and start construction but in most cases fail to complete work owing to shortage of funds," he added.
Derabassi SP Anil Kumar Sharma said, "Two police stations, including Derabassi and Zirakpur, are overloaded with investigations of property-related crime. Some of the FIRs were transferred to economic offences wing of the district police."
Private colonizers collect advance money from those who have registered their flats. They begin construction work. Troubles erupt when they fail to give possession of flats in the prescribed time, forcing buyers to knock the doors of court.
Land owners, especially property dealers, take advance money (token money) from customers but sell the same plots to others in cases of fraud, say police. Transferring general power of attorney (GPA) to someone else and taking token money for the same property from another person is a common practice in property-related cheating cases.