Chief Metropolitan Magistrate’s court in Delhi has ordered an FIR against tennis star Maria Sharapova.
A case has been field against the Russian tennis ace and Guragon-based real estate developers Homestead Infrastructure Development, Homestead Infrastructure Maintenance, Homestead Arabic Homes as well as the housing construction company directors.
Complainant Bhawana Agarwal had paid INR 53.03 lakh for a residential property in the projected Ballet by Sharapova luxury housing apartments in Gurgaon. The builders had heavily promoted the project in the name of Sharapova, along with a proposal to set up a tennis academy and creating commercial space for clothing and sportswear. The complainant was influenced by these factors to make the payment.
The luxury housing project was scheduled for completion by 2016. The complainant has alleged that the project never started. She had filed the complaint through her lawyer Piyush Singh. “Sharapova has aggressively promoted the fraudulent activities of the accused and supported the project in the eyes of the general public. She is, therefore, a part of this criminal conspiracy,” the complainant has stated.
CMM Rajesh Malik, while passing the order, has observed “if the averments of the complainant are to be believed, it shows that nothing has happened on the said project and the accused have no license or sanction for construction or development at the project, for which the complainant had paid Rs 53.03 lakh.
“If the alleged persons have no license or sanction to raise the residential flats in the name of ‘Ace by Sharapova’, Sector 73, Gurgaon, and accepted Rs 53 lakh to book a flat of unit area of 2,500 sqft, then they have undoubtedly committed criminal offence,” the court observed and directed the SHO concerned to register an FIR under relevant sections and investigate “all angles”.
“Once the court issues an order, the police has to register the FIR. Sharapova had come down to India two-three times in 2013 to meet prospective buyers. More than 1,500 people have invested in this project, but the project still has not seen the light of the day,” advocate Singh is quoted as saying by Times of India.
The former world No 1 glam girl of tennis has also faced a suspension from the sport in March 2016 after testing positive for a banned substance.