Taking suo-moto action in the city- based Maple Group's "misleading" newspaper advertisements of a cheap housing scheme, police today registered a case of cheating against three senior executives of the construction firm and other staff members.
The Maple Group had recently published advertisements to promote its scheme promising a one-bedroom-hall kitchen flat for just Rs 5,00,000 on the outskirts of Pune.
"After the state government issued a notice to the Maple Group, we had also shot off a letter to the developer and sought credentials of the project. However, we did not get any reply, which prompted us to lodge a complaint against the group suo-moto," said Tushar Doshi, Deputy Commissioner of police.
The case has been registered under 420 (cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property), 417 (cheating), 120 (B) (criminal conspiracy) and 34 (common intention) of IPC against group's CMD Sachin Agarwal, MD Navin Agarwal, Sales Manager Priyanka Agarwal and other officials.
Doshi said that in their probe so far, they have found that the advertisements, carrying pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Pune Guardian Minister Girish Bapat in newspaper advertisement while announcing their housing project titled 'Maharashtra Housing Day' were "misleading and false" in nature.
"Since, the scheme looked fishy, we decided to take suo- moto action in this connection and a case was today registered in this regard," he said.
The complaint, filed at Shivajinagar police station, said, "Through the misleading advertisement in the newspapers, the suspects tried to cheat people by promising apartments at Rs 5 lakh and collected non-refundable amount."
Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority (MHADA) and Mission Director of Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) have already issued a notice to the group and asked them to withdraw the controversial advertisements, stop collection of money from people and refund it to the people from whom the money has been collected.
The advertisements gave an impression that it was a part of Pradhan Mantri Aawas Yojana. However, the state government yesterday clarified that Maple Group's project was not linked in any manner with the Central or state government schemes.