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Gurugram: 14 builders among 29 booked for undercutting stamp duty

Gurugram: 14 builders among 29 booked for undercutting stamp dutyGURUGRAM

: On the direction of a local court, a case was registered against 29 entities, including 14 developers, six tehsildars, five registry clerks and four computer operators of the

Manesar

revenue office, for alleged irregularities in executing sale deeds of properties between 2009 and 2012.

The accused allegedly manipulated revenue records to reduce stamp duty and caused a loss of Rs 5 crore to the exchequer. As many as 53 sale deeds were executed between 2009 and 2012 by allegedly charging 2% lower stamp duty.

It is alleged that around 700 such registries were done in Gurugram. The total number of such registries executed across the state is 3,497. “It’s a massive scam. Police should form an SIT to probe the case in a time-bound manner,” said complainant Ramesh Kumar. The court had issued directions on December 1 for registering the FIR on Kumar’s petition.

Kumar alleged the accused officials collected huge amount of wealth by executing registries by reducing stamp duty. “Instead of punishing them, the state government promoted most of the accused, who are now holding important positions,” alleged Kumar, adding a separate probe is required for disproportionate assets of the accused officials.

He also alleged that the office of the Manesar sub-registrar, along with the registry clerk and computer operators, in connivance with developers, manipulated the records.

They did so by tampering with revenue records to show the land, situated in Sihi and Kherki Daula villages, outside MCG limits, thereby reducing stamp duty from 7% to 5%.

A complaint highlighting the irregularities was filed with the principal accountant general in October 2013, following which the DCP (south) conducted an inquiry and submitted a report to the police commissioner in June 2016, agreeing with the accusation.

In July 2016, the case was referred to the vigilance bureau, which filed a case before court in December 2017 under various charges, including forgery and criminal conspiracy and sections of the Prevention of Corruption Act.

A spokesperson for one of the developers said the case relates to registries done before 2010, when a new notification, increasing stamp duty, came. “In 2016, we received stamp duty deficiency notices which, when challenged, were set aside by the Gurugram deputy commissioner in April 2017,” the spokesperson said.

The case has been registered against 14 developers — Vatika Limited, Espo Developers, Marathon Promoters, Mendell Developers, Bendek Developers, Fermina Developers, Casper Developers, North Star, Blue Chip Apartments, Ninex Developers, Blue JejRealtek, Leela Lace Estate, Growmore Buildtech and Seriatim Land Housing. Several of these names are unknown, with many not even having websites. An anonymous source said most are subsidiaries of 1-2 genuine firms, registered offshore.

The accused tehsildars include — Hariom Attari, Pankaj Setia, K S Dhaka, Balraj Singh, Lalit Gupta and Ranvijay; registry clerks include — Jagmal, Vikas, Devinder, Ashok (1) and Ashok (2) and the computer operators are — Sunita, Robin, Sarabjeet and an unknown person.


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