In compliance with the court's order, the Delhi Police have registered an FIR on a homebuyer's complaint against a builder company, its officebearers and international tennis player Maria Sharapova for lending her name to a shady project in Gurgaon named 'Ace by Sharapova', which was proposed to have a tennis academy run by Sharapova herself.
The FIR has been registered for the offence of cheating and criminal conspiracy at Subhash Place police station in north west Delhi on the complaint of Bhawana Agarwal, a resident of Gurugram against Homestead Infrastructure Development Private Limited, its officebearers and the tennis star.
The FIR has been registered pursuant to Chief Metropolitan Magistrate Rajesh Malik’s October 24 order directing the police to do so and investigate the complaint from all angles.
Bhawana had, in her complaint, accused the builder of cheating and criminal conspiracy and collecting Rs 53 lakh on the pretext of the shady project.
Bhawana had moved court through advocate Piyush Singh, who says the company had publicised a residential project namely 'Ace by Sharapova' at Sector 73, Gurgaon, and advertised the project in various newspapers and electronic media.
As per the advertisement and the company's website, the project, amongst other things, was supposed to have a tennis academy where Maria Sharapova would give private training sessions whenever she tours India.
It was promised that the project would be delivered in time of three years, after which she paid an amount of Rs 53.03 lakh to the company in lieu of booking in the project in year 2013.
"At the stage of proceedings, this court has the version of complainant only. The complainant says that she was lured by showing that Maria Sharapova had endorsed the residential flats... the brochure of respondent company shows the proposed Tennis Academy in the project and commercial space for clothings and sportswear. At this stage, if the averments of the complainant are to be believed, it shows that nothing has happened on the said project and alleged persons have no licence or sanction for construction of development at the project for which the complainant has paid rupees 53.03 lakh.
"It is observed that collection of evidence on the given facts is certainly beyond the control of the complainant. Hence, the police investigation is required in the present case to unearth the real facts as to whether the company has taken any steps to handover the possession of the flat to the complainant," the court had said.
"If the alleged persons have no licence or sanction to raise the residential flat in the name of ‘Ace by Sharapova’ and accepted rupees 53 lakh to book flat of unit area of 5200 square feet, then they have undoubtedly committed criminal offence, hence, these facts require police investigation. Concerned SHO is directed to register the FIR under relevant sections and to investigate the case from all angles," the CMM had ordered.