Buying dream home turns into nightmare for many Vadodara residents

July 15, 2023

VADODARA: Nilesh Patel had booked a flat and paid a hefty booking amount in a posh residential apartment in the city a few years ago. But work on the project never took off as the project didn’t have the necessary permissions from the local authorities. And, Nilesh didn’t even get a full refund following which he filed a police complaint against the builder Apurva Patel last year.

Like Nilesh, hundreds of citizens invested their hard-earned money to buy their dream home but it turned into a nightmare. They were cheated by builders and never given possession of flats or duplexes that they booked. In the last year, the city police have registered 64 FIRs of cheating against four reputed builders who floated residential and commercial schemes in the city.

“The FIRs have been registered against the builders after due inquiry and now investigations are on. But the number of people cheated by some other builders is much higher. We have got a large number of applications from the citizens who paid the booking amount to the builders but didn’t get possession of the property. The victims are in the hundreds,” said Shamsher Singh, Vadodara city police commissioner.

Special economic offences cell formed to tackle plaints

In fact, there was such a torrent of cheating complaints against the builders that Singh formed a special economic offences cell six months ago to focus only on the FIRs against such builders. “The special cell headed by a police inspector is investigating the complaints and collecting all the necessary evidence. Idea is to speed up the probe and take the matter to the trial stage at the earliest,” Singh said.

According to the data provided by the police, 64 FIRs have been filed against four prominent builders including Apurva Patel, Jayesh Patel, Darpan Shah and Sanjay Parmar as well as his family members.

Shah was arrested last year in connection with one such FIR against him. The police said that multiple applications have been filed against many small-time builders in the last year.

The immediate fall-out of the FIRs against the builders is that many of them have started refunding booking amounts to the buyers. “Many people, who filed police complaints, said that they are being offered refunds by the builders who failed to honour their commitment,” a senior police official said.

Vadodara CP said that the police have been running campaigns to make people aware of such frauds and also verify the credentials of the builder as well as the property’s details and necessary permissions before booking any flat or shop.

  • Published On Jul 15, 2023 at 05:00 PM IST

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