In the cities of India, we often talk about goons. Be it the guy on the street that will extort a few rupees out of you with aggressive techniques or a large business tycoon who will do so by sweet talking you into buying his false promises.
My husband and I have run into both. As travellers of our planet, we have seen our fair share of thugs. Taxi drivers to Airline companies.
However, the BuilderMafia of India is a purely different breed that needs further description.
They are not different in their aspirations; like every other scammer, they also dream to be the richest. They are different because they have developed to become more than just Mafia.
In recent news, we have watched the Brave Pedestrian shed light on the racket Lodha Developers has run in Mumbai and Pune. Similarly, many other cases have come to light that brings influential names into question.
But the speed with which the government has been reacting to this scam is very very suspicious.
Let me give you my own example.
In January, my husband and I returned to India to begin a new chapter of our lives. I am an Indian Citizen, and he is an Overseas Citizen of India. As such, we can live and work in India.
We chose a Kalpataru Group property in Pune. This company claims to be one of the top ten builders of India. They also claim to have a listing on Forbes List of rich people.
Within 4 years of financial engagement with them, we realised that we have not chosen a sophisticated entity to deal with. They are, in fact, criminal from the moment one begins a deal with them.
Several threads of correspondence with them relating to their business tactics and their product delivery will prove that this company needs a serious lesson on professionalism and transparency. My husband has been amused with their ways and has been a direct recipient of their fearmongering tactics.
What is frightening about our experience with them is the confidence with which they accost Lawyers and Police Officers to do their bidding. When we realised that we have been defrauded by the company, we began writing to all concerned authorities to apply the relevant laws and regulations against this group.
Not only were we denied our rights to register a criminal complaint, but we were also demotivated from doing so with cheap and unethical tactics. The police of almost all the concerned departments are treating this case as untouchable. Even though it has the potential of solving several other criminal investigations across the nation.
They have instead written fear mongering letters to the residents of the complex. The Police Inspector of Hadapsar Police Station has shamelessly drafted a letter inciting hostilities and violence in the very building that we hoped to build a home in.
Below is one such letter painting my husband as a potential anti-Indian:
The translation In English:
The lawyers of the state seem to all be on the payroll of Kalpataru Group of Companies. A recording that I had shared with an advocate from Bombay fell into the hands of the Kalpataru Representatives, on the basis of which they dictated a very bold notice of Defamation against us.
We were not absolutely surprised at their use of public services for their own benefit, but we were shocked at the readiness of these professionals to extend themselves for their service.
It only showed that the Builders are no longer a Mafia, they are really ruling us.
Matters regarding this lobby have gone so out of hand that the current regulation called RERA is built to assist Builders in their Fraud.
What has allowed these individuals to rampantly hijack our nation’s institutions?
Such are the questions that have erupted from this chapter in Indian Real Estate Business.