ILLEGAL: The lawyer for the OBC Bank whom one of the buyers of the disputed plots in Sridao approached for the loan firmly stated that the property belong to Gonsalves and not Dempo. Siridao beach is one of the few beaches in close proximity to Panaji that remains relatively untouched. The land in this area is a gold mine for developers
Lourencinho Gonsalves, resident of Zuari, Goa Velha, has filed a criminal complaint against Laxmi Narayan V Dempo, Yogesh V Dempo of Dempo properties and Investment Pvt Ltd and the developer Nanda Couto for creating false documents to cheat him of his property. The police complaint follow the public notice published on March 18, 2018 in Herald and April 7, 2018 in Goan Observer warning potential buyers of the plot that the Dempos did not have title to the property they have allegedly fraudently sold to several unsuspecting mundkars.
Mr Gonsalves pointed out that the very fact that the Dempo and Nanda Couto have not disputed the contents of the public notice dramatizes that they have no right or clear title to the property that was developed into plots.
The fraud was discovered when public sector banks, including the Oriental Bank of Commerce, refused loans to build on the plots purchased from Dempos because they were not satisfied that the sellers had a clear title to the property. Post publication of the notices, those who had approached the Dempos to purchase plots in the disputed land were chased away. This was a tacit admission that they did not own the land.
The advocate of the High Court, EP Badri Narayanan, who was asked to give his legal opinion on the validity of the title of the Dempos over the property bought by a purchaser measuring 380 sq mtrs in Goa Velha, has stated categorically that the “land records of the said property indicates that the said property belongs to Minguel Francisco Gonsalves from Goa Velha and not M/S Dempo Property and Investment Pvt Ltd as claimed by them.
The lawyer in his opinion given to the bank has further stated that the linked documents supplied to him at serial No- 1 to 13 indicated that the property owned by Minguel Francisco Gosalves and in terms if succession will be inherited by his legal heirs who are not parties to any of the sale deeds (plots sold by the Dempos) and therefore the question of creating equitable mortgage does not arise. Creating equitable mortgage will greatly affect the interest of the bank.
Mr Laurencinho, who has irrefutable documentation of the ownership of the property, has alleged that the Dempos tried to mislead purchasers and the public by filing false company petitions in the High Court claiming that they owned the property when the reality is that the Dempos had tampered with the records and falsified the documents.
Mr Gonsalves alleged that after the publication of the notice, when those who have been cheated approached the police, the Dempos had allegedly hired goons to intimidate the victims from filing complaints. Specifically the legitimate owners of the property have alleged that a history sheeter, Zenito had been hired by the accused.
Mr Gonsalves also told the Goan Observer that several victims of the property fraud from the villages of the Sridao have filed police complaints against the owners and the developers at the Agassaim police station. He deplored the lack of any action by the police in such a serious fraud involving large property. Mr Gonsalves has alleged that politicians and police are conspiring to harass the Gonsalves family.
A senior advocate consulted by Goan Observer confirmed that inventory checks had confirmed that Laurencino Gonsalves was the owner of the property claimed by the Dempos in Sridao. He also lamented that if such cases were not taken seriously by the police there would come a day when even Azad Maidan in Panjim may be claimed by some unscrupulous parties who would develop it in defiance of the rule of law.