Home Dehradun Now ED too gets remand of Rajpal Walia in Pushpanjali Infratech fraud...

Now ED too gets remand of Rajpal Walia in Pushpanjali Infratech fraud case

By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 19 Oct: The Dehradun branch of the Enforcement Directorate has also arrested director Rajpal Walia, accused in the case of embezzling more than Rs 45 crore from flat buyers of Pusphanjali Infratech. Along with this, ED has also obtained Rajpal‘s five-day remand from the special court for Prevention of Money Laundering. The court has approved remand till 23 October.
What is most surprising in the case is the fact that Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA) has hardly been taking any serious interest in taking action in the case in the interest of the investors despite the fact that many cases have been filed before RERA by the investors in this case. Had RERA shown some genuine interest in the case, it could have invoked Section 8 of RERA which provides for revocation of registration of the builders and the investors could have recovered their money in part at least. It may be recalled that according to Section 8 of RERA, the real estate regulatory authority (RERA) must take the necessary steps to facilitate the refund of the amounts paid by the allottees along with interest if the registration of a real estate project is revoked or has expired due to the promoter’s failure to complete the project or for any other reason.
During the five day remand, the ED is expected to thoroughly interrogate Rajpal Walia regarding the use of money received from flat buyers for the construction of the residential project, etc. It may be recalled that when a case had been registered and a case filed in Uttarakhand High Court too by the flat buyers, accusing the partners Deepak Mittal and his wife Rakhi Mittal and partner Rajpal Walia of cheating them, Walia had claimed that he was innocent and he was also cheated by Mittals. However, some ground level investigation by the investors had revealed that Walia had also withdrawn the funds deposited by the investors and he was an equal partner in the crime.
It may also be recalled that Rajpal Walia was arrested by the STF of Uttarakhand Police on 29 September. Since then, Walia was in judicial custody in Suddhowala jail. Police have also arrested Ashwani Mittal, father of the other accused Deepak Mittal who is absconding with his wife and is learnt to be spending time in India as well as in Dubai.
This of course also speaks volumes about the level of negligence on part of the Police. The Police which had begun the investigations into the allegations levelled by the flat buyers in Orchid Project of Pushpanjali Infratech, did nothing to prevent Mittals from fleeing the country. In fact, Mittal and Walia had another high profile project by name of Canyon Club in which, some senior Police officers were also stated to be involved. It is only after strict directions of the Uttarakhand High Court and then the directions issued by DGP Ashok Kumar that the Police have begun the investigation in an earnest manner. In fact the investigations gathered genuine pace after Ajai Singh took over as SSP Dehradun.
After the absconding of director Deepak Mittal and his wife in the Pushpanjali case, nine cases have been registered with the police against these two directors, including director Rajpal Walia and others. At the same time, in view of the possibility of money laundering in the caseED also got involved in March 2022. It has both the projects of Pushpanjali (Orchid Park Phase One and Two) as well as the flats of the directors. After a long time, not only the police showed activeness in this case, but the ED also started taking swift action.
Before this, ED has arrested Rajpal Walia‘s wife Shefali Walia and on the other hand, Dehradun Police has arrested Deepak Mittal’s father Ashwani Mittal. However, Deepak and Rakhi Mittal, the other directors in the project are yet to be arrested. These two fugitive accused are currently said to be in Dubai and are playing hide and seek with the police including ED and RERA. However, during Walia‘s remand, important information about the two absconding directors is also expected to be obtained.
It may be recalled that around 90 flat buyers of the Eminent Heights project, including Pushpanjali‘s Orchid Park (Phase One and Two), have been fighting for possession for past four years. The Construction of the project has been stalled since 2018 and funds of more than Rs 55 crore of the buyers remain stuck. At least 64 buyers have filed complaint with RERA and of them nine are also registered with the Police. However, RERA after some initial hearings has not taken any action and consequently, the buyers were forced to approach the High Court. Builder Deepak Mittal and his wife Rakhi Mittal are absconding since 2020.
In view of the money laundering in the caseED has attached the flats of the project and directors in March 2022. Had RERA taken a keen interest, the project could have been handed over to some other builder to complete the construction.