This brief explains a common order for 6 separate complaints, namely, [Sr.no.1] Mrs. Amrita Chakraborty And Soumen Chakraborty (Complaint No.CC006000000171751), [Sr.no.2] Mrs. Noorjahan Qureshi (Complaint No. CC006000000171784), [Sr.no.3] Mr. Gokuldas Shankaran (Complaint No.CC006000000193534), [Sr. no.4] Dr. Vidyasindhu Anantrao Sejao & Dr. Aarti V. Sejao (Complaint No. CC006000000193712), [Sr. no.5] Mrs. Shabana Kishan Malladi (Complaint No. CC006000000194045), [Sr.no.6] Dr Shivahar Vijay Sonawane (Complaint No. CC006000000194211), against a common respondent, Balaji Symphony.
The above named complainants have filed these 6 separate complaints seeking directions from the MahaRERA, to the respondent, to pay interest for the period of delayed possession under section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (hereinafter referred to as ‘RERA’), in respect to the booking of their respective flats in the respondent’s project known as “Balaji Symphony phase 2” bearing MahaRERA registration No. P52000000754 situated at Panvel , Dist Raigarh.
Facts of the case: It is the case of the complainants that they had booked their respective flats in the respondent’s project on various dates between the year 2015 till 2018 by executing the registered agreements for sale. According to the registered agreements for sale, the respondent was liable to hand over the possession of the said flats to the complainants on different dates such as 30-04-2017, 30-06-2017 and 31-12-2019. However, the respondent has failed to hand over the possession of the flats to the complainants on the agreed dates.
The complainants have contended that they have paid substantial amounts towards the total consideration of their flats and have been following up with the respondent for the completion of the project and for possession of their flats. However, the respondent has failed to comply with its obligations and has not handed over the possession of the flats to them on agreed dates of possession. During the pendency of these complaints , the complainants at Sr. No. 1 and 3 have taken possession of their flats by paying outstanding dues to the respondent. Hence the present complaints have been filed seeking reliefs as sought in these complaints.
With regard to the reasons of delay cited by the respondent in its reply, the complainants have denied in the said reasons of delay and stated that the same are not covered under force majeure clause and even no stay order was granted by any competent court of law for construction activities and hence the respondent is not entitled to seek any reliefs under the force majeure clause. They further stated that though the project was getting delayed, they have made timely payments to the respondent. However, for any delay on their part in making payments, the respondent charged 12% interest and hence they are also entitled to seek a similar rate of interest as charged by the respondent. Hence they prayed to allow these complaints.
Order: In an order dated 22nd December 2020, the reasons cited by the respondent for the delay in completion of the project, do not give any plausible explanation. Moreover, the payment of interest on the money invested by the home buyers is not the penalty, but a type of compensation for delay as has been clarified by the Hon’ble High Court of Judicature at Bombay in the judgement dated 6th December, 2017 passed in W.P. No. 2737 of 2017. The respondent is liable to pay interest for the period of delay in accordance with the terms and conditions of agreements till the date of occupancy certificate is obtained for the project i.e. 24-07-2020.
The MahaRERA has noticed that the complainants at s.nos. 1 and 3 have already taken possession of their respective flats during the pendency of these complaints and before the occupancy certificate is received for the project and hence their claim under section 18 of the RERA cannot be taken away just because they have taken possession of their flats.
In view of above facts and discussion, the respondent is directed to pay interest to the complainants from the agreed dates of possession mentioned in the agreements for sale executed between the parties till the date of occupancy certificate is obtained on the actual amount paid by the complainants.