Rs 280 crore property scam accused held
By Express News Service - HYDERABAD
24th June 2012 11:32 AM
Businessman Gowri Shankar Gupta, who was on the run since March after the Hyderabad police registered a case against him in connection with forgery, was finally arrested by the Central Crime Station (CCS) sleuths Saturday. He was, however, admitted to a corporate hospital soon after due to “chest pain and giddiness.’’
The police on March 1 registered a case against Gupta, acting on a complaint filed by real estate company DLF that it had been cheated out of Rs 280 crore in a construction deal. Police also booked eight others and issued look-out notices against them to foil any attempt to flee the country.
Deputy commissioner of police (crime) PJ Victor said they took Gupta into custody around 9.30 p.m. on Saturday. Gupta used the letterhead of DLF India Limited for applying for allotment of 25 acres at Kukatpally and signed it as authorised signatory of DLF, without any such authorisation, he said.
“He also forged other documents as well and acquired 24.3 acres fraudulently, for which he paid the registration fee from his own funds. Gupta kept on fabricating documents and changing the addresses of firms. During the course of investigation, it became clear that Gupta, with the assistance of his employees, used the flag name of DLF for obtaining government land at concessional rate without keeping DLF in the loop,’’ the DCP said.
According to the complainant, Gupta lured DLF with the promise of investment in a land development project and appropriated nearly Rs 280 crore. The deal was struck in 2005 when Gupta’s SBPL Infrastructure Ltd approached DLF to invest in a 5.24 acre piece of land that SBPL claimed to own at Lower Tank Bund.
“SBPL, however, did not own the land, but only had an agreement with M/s India Services Pvt Ltd for developing it. SBPL later entered into an agreement with DLF to jointly develop the property and took Rs 11 crore as advance. As security, SBPL pledged the original title deeds of an apartment building at Banjara Hills. The project, however, did not take off and Gupta approached DLF again with some fresh offers.
Police said Gupta told DLF that he was able to secure the development rights to the 5.61 acre Gandhi Medical College in the name of three of his companies. The consortium was required to form a SPV--GSG Constructions Pvt Ltd--and DLF was asked to join the project by investing 50 percent of the cost. Asked to furnish Rs 43 crore as security deposit, DLF paid the money in three instalments between October 2006 and January 2007 and an MoU was signed between the two companies.
GSG Constructions told DLF that it was entitled to enter into an MoU with another company and discharge its obligations. However, DLF later found that the terms and conditions laid down in the allotment letter issued by the state government to GSG stipulated that the venture partners could neither substitute any other person or company,’’ the FIR said.
Even as DLF grew suspicious, the accused came up with yet another proposal. Gupta, through SBPL, proposed various real estate projects, including development of a 63-acre piece of land at Katedan, 26 acres at Kukatpally and 78 acres at Jubilee Hills, it is learnt.
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