Meanwhile, the builder, Jayesh Thokarsi Shah of Ravi Group, is currently lodged in Arthur Road jail following his arrest in another case by the Mumbai Economic Offences Wing (EOW) last month for allegedly cheating five, who had booked flats in his other project, Evershine Cosmic, of Rs 10 crore. The EOW’s housing unit had slapped charges of cheating, forgery, breach of trust and as well as some under the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats (MOFA) in the case.
The Evershine project adjoins the Gaurav Legend plot in Oshiwara.
In Gaurav Legend, Shah (59) was to build a 22-storey building as part of a slum rehabilitation scheme but could not construct beyond 10 slabs.
Currently, only the skeleton of the building stands at the site and the land is completely encroached by slums, most of which are occupied by project-affected people (PAP).
“I booked two apartments in 2009-10 and paid Rs 60 lakh by dipping into my life savings as well as borrowing money from friends. Later, construction work stopped, and we got only assurances from the builder,’’ said Amina Khan, one of the flat buyers in Gaurav Legend in Oshiwara, Andheri.
“We have been under tremendous stress and trauma. My father has been unwell, and all pleadings have been ignored,’’ said Manish Nair, another buyer.
“We booked a flat in Gaurav Legend in April 2010. The builder sold it to us as a dream project, but badly duped us,’’ said Ashok Kapadia. “It is only now that the EOW arrested the builder,’’ he said.
Gaurav Legend Owners Welfare Association, a group of over 190 members from Andheri, approached the Amboli police station to lodge an FIR of cheating and forgery against the builder for failure to complete the project.
Arun Tyagi, who booked an apartment, said Shah had launched the project in 2007 and had promised to complete it by 2012.
“He kept on changing the building plans without approval from the authorities,’’ he said.
Initially, they constructed a slab every month and very aggressively collected payments from the buyers, it has been alleged. A few buyers, though, asked the builder to furnish a copy of the commencement certificate, which he could not. Once most of the collection of payments were done, the builder allegedly stalled the project, citing approval issues,say home buyers.