May 23, 2024
Sobha Ltd has been charged with forgery in a residential project by a Bengaluru court.

Sobha Ltd has been charged with forgery in a residential project by a Bengaluru court.

Sobha Ltd: The homeowners have accused Sobha Developers of adding flats with fake NOCs and mortgaging the Sobha City project in north Bengaluru to the tune of Rs 1,040 crore.
For mortgaging the project Sobha City in north Bengaluru for Rs 1,040 crore, a Bengaluru court has begun criminal proceedings against listed real estate firm Sobha Ltd.

The judgment from the Bengaluru magistrate court dated September 19 further stated, “The developer increased the number of apartments by another 450 units in addition to the already sanctioned number of units in the sanctioned plan without the agreement of the homebuyers.

The court further noted that the developer had secured a revised development plan and building plan by forging and falsifying a copy of the Director General of Karnataka State Fire and Emergency Services’ No Objection Certificate, dated May 2013, in order to obtain a revised certificate.

The court concluded that there were sufficient grounds, on the basis of all the available information, to file a criminal complaint against the developer.

Case

Srinivasa Talla, the complainant, paid Rs 72 lakh for a flat in the development in 2017.

In January 2022, Talla sent a Right to Information (RTI) application to the Karnataka fire department.

He said, “At that time, the fire department made it very apparent that the NOCs (No-Objection Certificates) and certificates received from the local municipal organizations were not issued by the department.

Homebuyers assert that after receiving the initial building plan, Sobha builders chose to build 450 more flats without getting their permission, necessitating a new development plan.

However, the builder conveniently faked the NOC and Fire clearances and obtained approval for the amended construction plan and OC, according to Advocate Vittal BR, who represented the homeowners.

According to Moneycontrol, the Bruhat Bengaluru Mahanagara Palike (BBMP), the local municipality body, revoked all partial occupancy certificates (OC) issued to the Sobha City project in January 2023 due to alleged document forgery.

Talla went to the local police station to make a complaint at first. The jurisdictional police, however, closed the investigation after determining that it was of a civil nature. So, seeking remedy, he went to the magistrate court.

court judgments

The complainants claimed in a court filing that the developer had secretly mortgaged the property for Rs 1,040 crores from 2009 to 2018 although the homebuyers were unaware of it.

According to the Encumbrance Certificate (EC) that was obtained from the Sub-registrar, Sobha Ltd had borrowed a total of Rs 990 crores and had paid back Rs 645 crores after selling the apartments and other assets. Additionally, it secured a brand-new loan for Rs 50 crore, according to Talla.

By claiming that the property is free of all encumbrances in the deed of declaration recorded in 2016 but having mortgaged the same, the builder has defrauded the homebuyers, the expert continued.

Noting this, the court determined that there is enough evidence to bring charges against the developer for the offenses covered by Sections 107, 120B, 285, 383, 384, 405, 406, 415, 417, 418, 420, 423, 463, 464, 465, and 470 of the Indian Penal Code when read with Section 34.

“The office is directed to register a calendar case in the Register No. III maintained for criminal cases as against accused for the offenses punishable,” continued the directive.

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