• How to recover Money stuck with builder

Sir,
 Iam a PSU employee working in Mumbai. In 2014 one of my friend retired from service and recd his retirement amount. I used to give free advice to my known people for safe investment before and after retirement days. The said person asked me to help to  invest in a shop or a commercial space where he can earn rental income.(I DON'T KNOW MUCH ABOUT REAL ESTATE DEALING) I introduced an agent who was known to me since last 5 years doing the sole agency of a particular builder. selling of constructed/under construction bungalows commercial spaces of this builder since last 12 years.They have projects in Nasik ,Thane and in Mumbai. My friend residing in Mumbai ,opted to book 2 units of commercial space in Mumbai. Before giving the token amount we visited their other projects in Thane and Shirdi-Nasik. once we satisfied my friend paid the booking amount.They told us that the completion of the project will not go beyond 18 months.They offered one more idea that If he pay full amount of 32 L for one unit the builder will start to give approx rent of 10K. They started to give rent every month. They told us the project will commence after the monsoon. In between without my knowledge the sole agent used to meet him personally and built a good rapport with him. and won to extract another 32 L and started rent of another 10k. I came to know about this payment nearly after 10 Months.My friend thought i know the fact. But the agent cleverly hided from me.Their project never started on their schedule.We
started to shout for this delay. They have reasons that they could not raise sufficient booking, slow market ,liquidity problem etc.18 Months finished. we told the to cancel the deal and pay the money back. They said we don't have money now .will pay back when we sell the ready property of the company. Ultimately the builder gave him in writing that he will pay the full amount in Jan 2016. As per his assurance we had a meeting at his office .This time he said he want 2 months more time to pay the money back. He transferred only 80k till today . My friend is so unhappy and depressed that his whole retirement amount is lying with builder( Paid in full check and got Receipt). I don't know what to do in this situation.police FIR or consumer court civil/criminal . Any way my friend approached 2 advocates and took the suggestions. According to them i am the responsible to recover the money from builder,else the victim will file case against me and others for cheating a retired poor person. A copy of summons letter will go to my company . I am seeking valuable advice in this regard to protect me and my govt service. My friend doesn't like iam into trouble. Your valuable advice will be highly appreciated.
Regards,
Asked 10 months ago in Property Law from Mumbai, Maharashtra
Religion: Hindu
1) payment has been made to builder by your friend 

2) you merely guided him . your are not responsible for the mess 

3) your friend has cancelled the booking and builder refunded only Rs 80000 till date contrary to written assurances given 

4) your friend has to move consumer forum against builder and seek refund with interest 

5) also compensation for mental torture undergone by him 

6) no case of cheating is made out against you
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23351 Answers
1221 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1) your friend advanced money to builder 

2) agreement was cancelled by him 

3) refund was promised by builder to your friend 

4) complaint of cheating should be filed by your friend against builder 

5) you are not responsible if fraud is played by builder 
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23351 Answers
1221 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. The suggestion to involve you is grossly incorrect,

2. You have not taken any money from your friend and is not responsible to return the same,

3. Your friend should lodge a police complaint against the builder and its agent bringing the charge of cheating and defrauding him,

4. He should also file a complaint case before the local District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum alleging deficiency in service and unfair business practice claiming refund of the entire amount paid with interest, damage and cost.

Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12131 Answers
233 Consultations
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How are you responsible unless you have entered into an agreement with your friend promising to be liable for the delay in delivery of possession by the builder? The liability rests on the shoulders of the builder alone who has not honoured the promise made by him. The remedy for your friend is to move the civil court or consumer forum to claim the recovery of amount from the builder along with interest and compensation. There is no case made out against you. 
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18183 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
If you have obtained an acknowledgment from the builder for the 69k returned to him or the return was made through  bank transfer then you cannot be held liable. A FIR can also be filed against the builder but it is the civil proceeding alone through which your friend can recover his money.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18183 Answers
449 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi
 have you signed any document as an agent or as a consultant between the builder and the Purchaser/ your friend,if not you are not legally  liable and no fraud or cheating can charge against  you 

How did you return the 69  thousand , if it was a transfer or cheque you can show that you returned the money.
Your friend has to  initiate legal proceedings for that first send a legal notice to the builder.
if the  builder is not responding positively and not agreeing to return the amount your friend should file a case to recover the amount with interest and compensation in the consumer court.
A criminal case can be filed under 420 IPC, but before that send a legal notice to the builder.
Unless you are an agent for the builder there is no legal step can be initiated against you . 
considering the facts from your narration  you are no way responsible for the builder's act
Thresiamma G. Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1316 Answers
85 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
 Any way my friend approached 2 advocates and took the suggestions. According to them i am the responsible to recover the money from builder,else the victim will file case against me and others for cheating a retired poor person. A copy of summons letter will go to my company . I am seeking valuable advice in this regard to protect me and my govt service. My friend doesn't like iam into trouble. Your valuable advice will be highly appreciated.
Regards,
Have you signed on any paper assuring that the builder is genuine and your friend may invest in his business?, 
if not then what is your worry.  Let him lodge a criminal complaint with police, you can defend yourself based on the facts narrated above. 
There is nothing to worry to this extent.  Your friend cannot hold you responsible for this debacle, it was his fault to go for another flat too with the greed for extra 10k amount.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
For the 1 st unit booking the agent  transferred  69k from builder a/c to me as brokerage . But I returned back the amount to builder once we cancelled the deal. To help my friend is it required to file an FIR against the builder and the sole agent . As per my friend i should come front to initiate the case against them. Please advice me

You first have to cancel the booking in writing and get an acknowledgement for this by sending this communication in writing by registered post. 
After that you may either lodge a criminal complaint for cheating or approach consumer forum seeking relief an compensation also.
T Kalaiselvan
Advocate, Vellore
14151 Answers
127 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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