Adalat digs up real estate fraud
The mega adalat organized by the city corporation of Thiruvananthapuram to clear pending files related to allocation of building permits on wet/paddy lands has also thrown up a case of misappropriation of building permit and building number involving the beleaguered real estate firm – Samson and Son Builders and Developers Pvt Ltd. The complaint was filed by A Premkumar, a native of Ulloor, currently residing in USA, regarding a four-storey apartment comprising 12 units at Ulloor.
Samuel Jacob, John Jacob, Dhanya Mary Varghese and Jacob Samson were recently arrested in connection with a case registered on alleged cheating of investors to the tune of Rs 130 crore. According to investigating officials, 12 cases are pending against them and all except Jacob Samson were let off on bail.
According to the complaint, the corporation transferred building permit and numbers of the units to the name of Samuel Jacob while the original ownership of the land and permit rested with Renju S, daughter-in-law of Premkumar. The family had entered into a construction agreement with Samson and Sons builders to construct a four-storey apartment. As per the agreement, the building numbers were to be transferred to occupants of the apartments as directed by the owner of the land, once construction is completed. Five apartments, equivalent to land value, were to be taken by the land owner while seven apartments were to be given to the builder instead of construction cost, as per the agreement.
“However, when the building permit was about to expire, it was transferred to the builder. The numbers of 12 units were also allotted to Samuel Jacob,” said Premkumar. The family took up the matter with the corporation in November and applications along with documents to prove their rights over the property were submitted to get the permit and building numbers reallocated to their names. The civic body did not act on this application for the past three months following which Premkumar filed a complaint at the mega adalat held on January 30.
Mayor V K Prasanth has referred the complaint for further internal inquiry. It needs to be found out as to how the officials transferred the building permit on the request of Samuel Jacob while keeping the original owner of the land and permit holder in the dark. “We were shocked to find out that the permit and numbers were transferred to the builder’s name while we held absolute rights over the property,” Premkumar added.
The officials with the engineering wing said that they have found the complaint to be genuine. “We have issued a notice to the builder. All documents would be verified and corrective measures would be taken,” said an official with the engineering wing.
The revenue officials said that primary fault lay with the engineering wing, which transferred the building permit. “Building numbers are issued based on the permit ownership. If an error happened, it might have occurred in the engineering wing,” an official said. Sources said that internal probe is on to find out the officials who reportedly colluded with the builder to get the ownership transferred.