27th February, Mumbai: Film director and actor Gehana Vasisth aka Vandana Tiwari has filed a written complaint at the Bangur Nagar police station, after a channel partner of the Lodha Group of Builders in cahoots with some staff at the builder’s site office at Malad West allegedly cheated her of Rs 2.40 lakh, even after issuing her a cheque for the amount.
According to Gehana’s complaint, which has been accessed by this journalist, she purchased a flat at one of the Lodha Group’s properties at Malad West in suburban Mumbai. While she was visiting related properties nearby, one broker or estate agent who introduced himself as Shakir Zamindar and his partner Heena Khan convinced Gehana that the Lodha Group had better options than other developers and if she booked the flat through them, they would give her 50 percent of their agency commission.
Induced by the offer and convincing sales pitch of Shakir and Heena, Gehana visited the site of Lodha Builders at Malad West, made the booking of the flat and made the down payment. The estate agent Shakir Zamindar issued Gehana a cheque for Rs 2,00,000 (Two Lakh only) as a part payment for the promised cash back in the site office of Lodha Builders in the presence of their staff Nitin Mishra and others.
Shakir however told her not to deposit the cheque immediately as it would get credited only after the channel partner agent received his commission from the builder. Later on as the days passed, Shakir kept on denying that he had received the payment from the builder, but Gehana managed to contact senior officials at the Lodha group who revealed that the payout was already made to the channel partner broker.
Then Shakir began singing a different tune. He said a relative of his was very unwell and hospitalised and that he was out of town. He requested Gehana to wait for some time and not to deposit the cheque. He promised to do an online transfer of the amount totaling Rs 2.40 lakh.
However, after sometime, both Shakir Zamindar and Heena Khan blocked Gehana’s phone numbers and refused to speak to her. Several attempts to rope in Lodha group executives to sort out the matter – as the entire transaction took place in their office in the presence of their staff were futile as the Lodha group officials said it was an understanding between the channel partner and herself.
Gehana has alleged that the Lodha groups sales staff are hand-in-glove with the channel partner agent and all of them have shared the commission without paying her what was promised to her. She has also alleged that the RERA registration of the channel partner is on a different name, while the cheque issued to her is on a different name.
“The Lodha builders staff should have warned me of these discrepancies as I am their customer and I have booked a flat in their project, which they failed to do. It is obvious that they were hand-in-glove with the broker and together have pocketed and mutually shared the total commission of Rs 4.80 lakh, denying her half the amount which was promised, which was paid by the company,” Gehana has said in her complaint.
Several visits to the Bangur Nagar police station and a written complaint seem to have gone of deaf years. The cops are yet to register a case, Gehana said.