TNRERA directs criminal action against promoter

The Tamil Nadu Real Estate Regulatory Authority (TNRERA) has called for criminal action against an erstwhile Managing Director of a real estate firm for allegedly siphoning off about ₹8.86 crore of funds collected from home buyers.

Le NID Flat Owners’ Welfare Association, Rejoice Flat Buyers’ Association and a slew of others had filed a complaint against Antony Projects and its erstwhile Managing Director Antony Sahayaraj.

In its petition, one of the associations alleged that 140 allottees had been cheated and they had booked flats in Le NID, a real estate project in Urappakkam. They said flats were not completed even after four years and the construction came to a complete halt in 2014. The promoter had assured completion by April 3, 2016, but construction activities never resumed. The case was similar in the firm’s other projects.

In 2019, Antony Projects was ordered to be liquidated under the insolvency and bankruptcy code. The Liquidator had allowed the home buyers to complete the project and file a final claim for refunds of amount spent by the Association beyond the scheduled payments.

The Association said the total consideration for as per the construction agreement entered was ₹18 crore and the allottees had paid about ₹14 crore. Further said it has engaged KPN Promoters to complete the project and the net additional amount incurred amounts to ₹4.30 crore.

Meanwhile, Rejoice Flat Buyers Association and 16 other allotees said they had booked flats at the promoter’s Rejoice project at Karanaipuduchery village, Chengalpattu. The sale cum construction agreements were executed in 2014, but the promoter had failed to complete the project.

The liquidator had requested them to complete the construction project and the buyers said they would incur additional cost about ₹4.50 crore. In its response, the liquidator appointed for Antony Projects noted that explanation was sought from Antony Sahayaraj for transaction with related parties to the tune of ₹8.86 crore for alleged supply for furniture.

The promoter has not given any details of the transactions and it is very much clear that the erstwhile promoter has siphoned off the company for his personal gains and was directed to repay the sum back to the company. However, he has not paid the amount, he noted.

The TNRERA noted it was clear that the erstwhile promoter had not utilised the ₹8.86 crore for the project and had misappropriated the money for his pecuniary gains amounting to criminal breach of trust.

It said the order had to be forwarded to the DGP, Tamil Nadu, and the Commissioner of Police, Chennai, for initiating appropriate criminal action against Antony Sahayaraj.

It also directed for the cancellation of excess undivided share registered by the company in its Rejoice project.

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