Non-resident Keralites who are the affected by Santhimadom villa scam are seeking the help from the High Court of the Indian state and the Ministry of External Affairs.
Among the 272 investors 70 are UAE residents. 20 affected investors of the UAE held a press conference on Saturday to announce their decision to move the Kerala High Court to solve the crisis over the stalled project for which they had invested Rs3.5m to Rs5.5m since 2008.
The construction was stopped in 2010 when Archeological Department objected that the project is in the vicinity of an ancient cave protected by the department. Since the controversy over the project had started as several people booked the company’s villas and apartments.
The developers lured the investors with very attractive features, ranging from a swimming pool and shopping complexes to a helipad, health resort, and herbal plantation.
The investors were trapped by the developers that the project also had other features to get the full payment at the earliest including Rs25,000 rent even from the unfinished villas from the very next month after they make the full payment. Another offer was a gift land of five acres of herbal plantation in Tamil Nadu’s Madhura.
While the rental paid initially to some of the investors eventually stopped, those who got title deeds for the gift land have been served legal notices for land grabbing.
The chairman of the group, had been to jail several time for other cases as well. Around 80 cases registered against him
The ‘’victims’’, alleged at a press conference that the authorities were deliberately delaying action against developers due to ‘’external influences’’.
Shamsudheen Karunagappally, a Dubai-based advocate is representing 22 affected investors from the UAE, said the group is now moving the High Court within two weeks making the local administrative body. He said
“The government bodies should not have given permission to the project first and then stopped it later.”
He added.”We are also meeting the Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj to seek her support for these NRIs in convincing the archeological department that the project will not affect the protected caves. They had allowed many other buildings and roads in the vicinity of the protected site and only stayed this project.”