Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova has landed in trouble as a North West Delhi court has ordered an FIR against her in a complaint filed by a homebuyer against a luxury housing company. The tennis player was an endorser of the brand whose housing project never took off and prompted the investors to file a complaint in the matter. The court has named Sharapova along with the other owners and the director of the company in the list of faulters. As per media reports, the complainant had alleged that the housing project was portrayed as ‘Ballet by Sharapova’ which perhaps added significance in the advertising and resulted in attracting huge interest from the buyers.
Sharapova has been named in the list of defaulters along with the directors and the companies Homestead Infrastructure Development Private Limited, Homestead Infrastructure Maintenance Private Limited and Homestead Arabic Homes Private Limited. The court of the chief metropolitan magistrate in North West Delhi had ordered the proceedings in response to a complaint filed by a homebuyer, Bhawana Agarwal. As per a TOI report, the builders had garnered huge responses from the buyers on false promises of providing a tennis academy and a commercial shopping complex.
The report further reveals that Sharapova had travelled to India occasionally in 2013 to meet the prospective buyers and she had a significant role in the aggressive promotion put forth by the alleged fraudulent company. “The project was to be completed within three years from the first payment in the year 2013, however, the respondent has failed to start any construction or development work even after three years from the date of the booking ie 12.4.2013. As per the agreement, the complete possession was to be handed over to the complainant on 12.4.2013. It is stated that complainant has now got to know that the accused did not even have the necessary approval, permissions or sanctions to start the project and it was premeditated conspiracy to collect money from innocent buyers,” the complaint states.
“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 license or sanction for construction or development on the project, for which the complainant paid Rs 53.03 lakh. It is observed here that collection of evidence on the given facts is certainly beyond the control of the complainant. Hence, 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 headed by Magistrate Rajesh Malik observed
Maria Sharapova was recently in headlines for making a successful comeback in the court after returning from her ban. She regained a spot in the top 100 rankings after defeating Ekaterina Makarova at the China Open. She had been barred from playing after failing a drug test at the 2016 Australia Open. She had admitted the use of banned drug meldonium for medical reasons and that she was not aware of that the particular drug usage was against the WTA’s anti-doping rules.
Sharapova’s controversial affairs with India and Indians are not a new thing, earlier in 2014, the Russian tennis star faced the wrath of Indian cricket fans on social media after she staged a controversial remark that she was unaware of who Sachin Tendulkar was. Another sports personality who had been through a similar situation before is former Indian cricket team captain MS Dhoni had also been pulled into a controversy when some homebuyers trolled the cricketer on twitter for being the brand ambassador of the Amrapali construction group whose projects were not completed on time. Dhoni later quit the organisation following allegations and his wife Sakshi Dhoni who had 25% stakes in Amrapali Group was summoned by a court in a related hearing.