MahaREAT: earnest money can only be held accountable for the alternative claim of reimbursement

By Fiona Mehta

This article examines the matter of Samudra Darshan Co vs. Peter Almeida & Ors (AT006000000053403)

 

Facts of the case: The first two appeals’ appellant, a cooperative society, nominated Respondent No. 3 as developer via redevelopment agreement (RDA) dated 08.07.2005 for developing the property under its occupation, according to the appeals’ brief factual matrix. According to the aforementioned agreements, Respondent No. 3 had the right to sell apartments in the selling component only if the rehabilitation of the members was complete. After receiving the required approvals, Respondent No. 3 started building in 2011 and also started selling apartments in the sale component, which would be built in accordance with agreements with the Society. The claim of the allottees is that they paid a total of Rs. 64.50 lacs for the flat number 1103 in wing “C” of the sale component building, against which a sum of Rs. 6,17,550 was given as an earnest money deposit. To that end, it is asserted that Respondent No. 3 also issued an allocation letter dated 11.06.2011.

With time passing, the Society terminated the RDA through a deed of cancellation signed by the Society and Respondent No. 3 on September 16, 2014, as a result of Respondent No. 3 failing to fulfil the obligations it undertook under the said RDA and due to the project of redevelopment being abandoned. As a result, on 21.10.2014, the Society appointed Respondent No. 7 as the new Developer by signing a development agreement. Subsequently, a public notice dated 30.04.2015 was also published in the newspapers for the general public’s awareness.

The new Developer registered the project under RERA once RERA went into effect in May 2017. Following this, the project’s allottees filed a complaint with MahaRERA asking for instructions to the new developer to assign the flat in the building and further instructions to the ex-developer or the new developer to execute a sale agreement with the allottees in accordance with the allotment letter issued to them by the ex developer on June 11, 2011. Alternately, allottees asked the respondents to reimburse them for their payments, plus interest, and pay them compensation of Rs. 50 lacs.

In the current situation, it appears that Society has no contractual relationship with the allottees under the circumstances, and the transaction is solely and exclusively between the allottees and the former developer. Whether or not the development agreement between the Ex-developer and the Society is cancelled, the facts collected in this case are clearly within the ratio of Vaidehi.

Furthermore, it is noted that the new developer was chosen by the society and has not signed a contract with the former developer. As a result, it cannot be held accountable for keeping promises made to allottees by the former developer, contrary to what the authority incorrectly stated, particularly in para. 19 of the original order and as reiterated in the order under review application. As a result, neither the society nor the new Developer that it chose are required to acknowledge the allottees’ claims as requested in the case.

Order: In light of the aforementioned observations, the Society and new Developer cannot be held accountable to allottees due to the lack of privity of contract, and as a result, allottees are not entitled to the relief claimed in the complaint against the Society or new developer. Since a new Developer has already taken over the project in these circumstances, no flats can be made available to project allottees.

Due to this, the ex-Developer who has received the earnest money from the allottees can only be held accountable for the alternative claim of reimbursement made by the allottees, if any. For the aforementioned reason, it would be acceptable to remand the complaint so that the Authority can decide on the refund amount again and identify the previous Developer’s responsibility for it after speaking with the interested parties.

In the above circumstances, we are of the view that impugned order cannot be sustained and the same deserves to be set aside.

MahaRERA: Pay penalty in 2 months, or amount will double every month

RERABy Fiona Mehta

 

In a landmark judgment, the MahaRERA ordered a developer to pay a penalty, the violation of which would result in a doubling of the penalty sum each month, for violating a previous decision to reimburse a plot buyer who had invested money 10 years ago.

 

Facts of the case: As per the case, Vishal Raut, 42, an Andheri resident, had invested Rs 4.7 lakh in 2012 in a non-agricultural bungalow plot at M/s Ginger Country Living Private Limited’s Ginger Hill project at Kharade village in Shahapur. As per the agreement, the payment was made for a 1,900-sq ft (approx) hilltop plot for a total consideration of Rs 7 lakh.

“In fact, there has been no construction in that plot barring access roads. Whenever I got in touch with the developer, they would give evasive replies,” he said, adding that later in 2016-17 he got a call from the developer asking him to collect cheques for the refund as they could not develop the project. “Instead of making a full refund with interest, they assured to issue post-dated cheques and asked me to sign a no-due letter in return, but I refused. Thereafter, I moved MahaRERA,” Raut said.

MahaRERA issued an order on November 10, 2020, favouring Raut and directing the developer to execute the registered agreement within a month or face a return of the money. Raut, through counsel Godfrey Pimenta, filed a non-execution application with MahaRERA when the developer failed to carry out the order.

In his ruling, Dr. Vijay Satbir Singh, Member 1 of MahaRERA, noted that M/s Ginger Country Living Pvt Ltd had skipped the hearing and failed to provide any justification for the delay. “It demonstrates that the respondent is not disposed to object to this motion for non-execution. Therefore, the MahaRERA believes that the complainant’s argument for a refund has merit, Dr. Singh said.

“The Respondent is directed to refund the full amount paid by the Complainant towards the consideration of the Said Flat together with interest as prescribed under RERA and the Said Rules made thereunder within a period of 2 months, failing which the Respondent shall be liable to pay penalty of Rs 5,000 per day for every day of default until actual compliance of the said order.

The order stipulated that the fine amount would double every day after each month.

MahaRERA: Registration of at least 21 housing government projects lapses

By Fiona Mehta

 

Among the more than 4,500 real estate projects that have failed in Maharashtra are these home developments. However, as bookings for government projects do not begin until an occupation certificate is given, not a single homebuyer has been impacted.

Out of which, 21 projects are being developed under the affordable housing scheme of the Maharashtra government as well as the Central government’s flagship Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) scheme. Cities like Mumbai, Pune, Nagpur, and Aurangabad host the projects. The tier-3 town of Amravati also has a number of abandoned PMAY projects. The projects on the list are those whose registrations expired between 2017 and 2022. (up to March).

The most lapsed government projects are being built in Mumbai, with eight. These initiatives are located close to Borivali, Wadala, Powai, Malad, and Goregaon. Amravati district has six projects, Pune district has three projects, Jalgaon, Aurangabad, Nagpur, and the Kalyan portion of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) each have one project.

 

When is a real estate project declared lapsed?

A developer has three to four years, which is seen as a reasonable amount of time, to complete any real estate project that they have registered with MahaRERA. A registration number is given for the project after completion.

However, when the deadline for completion is not fulfilled and the developer does not request an extension, the project is said to have “lapsed.” The developer is prohibited from inviting people to invest in these ventures once the registration of the project is deemed to have “lapsed.” The revenue department’s registrar is unable to register such projects.

 

What the authorities are saying?

Officials claim that no allottees or purchasers are involved in these projects because government organisations only accept reservations once a local authority issues an occupation certificate (OC).

Starting July 25, MahaRERA will issue suo-motu notices to developers of lapsed real estate projects in Maharashtra, most of which are in Pune and Mumbai. Initially, projects where the developer has 50% or more bookings but there is zero work on the ground will get notices.

MahaREAT: Excessive use of jurisdiction by MahaRERA set aside

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the case of Mr. Girish Shivnani, Mrs. Varsha Girish Shivnani, Mr. Deepak Shivnani, and Mrs. Hanisha Shivnani vs. Century Textiles & Industries Ltd (M/s. Birla Estate Private Limited) (Appeal No. AT006000000053000) dated 27th July 2022, the appeal by the allottees is made in response to the order dated January 14, 2021 that the learned Member of MahaRERA made in complaint no. CC006000000141163 and which instructed the respondent to allow the allottees to inspect a sample flat within two weeks and, in the event that they decided to cancel their reservation, to proceed in accordance with the terms of the duly executed booking application forms.

 

Facts of the case: Complainants booked Flat Nos.1101 and 1102 In respondent’s project “Birla Vanya – Phase I” situated at Kalyan, Thane. Complainants agreed to pay total consideration of Rs.1,09,65,2701- for Flat No.1102 and Rs.t,06,72,3201- for Flat No.1101. The parties exchanged booking agreements on April 3rd, 2019. A deposit of Rs. 4,00,000 was made at the time of booking, claim the complainants. After then, the complainants demanded the cancellation of the reservation and a reimbursement of their payment to the respondent.

As respondent failed to refund the amount, a complaint was filed before MahaRERA, thereby directing respondent to refund booking amount paid by complainants as per the terms and conditions of booking forms issued by respondent.

In accordance with the terms of the booking form, respondent was required by the aforementioned judgement to reimburse the complainants for the booking amount paid. Additionally, the complaint was only for a refund. After that, complainants requested clarification in the aforementioned order via Submitted on September 10, 2020. In their request for explanation, the complainants expressed their displeasure that the respondent had refused to pay them despite the complaint’s order, and given the lengthy delay, they pleaded for clarification and fair resolution of the situation.

In any case, it appears that the complainants have not challenged the aforementioned ruling because they were not permitted to do so, as they cannot be considered to be aggrieved parties with regard to the order dated December 23, 2019.

 

Order: It is observed that complainants have not made out a prima facie case to show that respondent has ever violated the provisions of sections 12 and 18 of the Act of 2016 for which they can seek refund.

Thus, the entire order came to be passed in the excessive use of jurisdiction as if sitting in an appeal and, therefore, in our view, impugned order dated 14th January 2021 is not sustainable in law. In light of the above and since the order is passed in the excessive use of jurisdiction, same deserves to be set aside with a direction to the Authority to decide application dated 10th September 2020 moved by complainants strictly in accordance with law.

 

Advocate for Appellants- Dr. Sanjay Chaturvedi
Advocate for Respondent- Mr. Vikramjit Garewal

ITAT: Cash payment for improving the flat is allowed

By Fiona Mehta

 

The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT)’s Mumbai bench, in a tax litigation over capital gains arising on the sale of residential flats, has allowed the NRI taxpayer to claim a significant portion of the costs of improvement, like fixing the tiles, or painting the walls, even though they were paid in cash.

 

Facts of the case: Non-resident Indians (NRI’s), Komal Gurumukh Sangatani and her husband, has filed an appeal with the ITAT in the financial year to which the dispute related was 2009-2010.

Komal Sangtani pleaded that the expenditures incurred were to make the flat habitable, which is very normal and would be incurred every citizen of the country who is purchasing a property from a builder. She further added that it is quite usual to make such payments in cash.

The bench observed that the taxpayer never carried on any business and was thus not liable for tax audit. Consequently, there was no bar in incurring certain expenditure towards the flat in cash, as long as the source of the cash payment was explained from her reported income. The bench, though, distinguished between expenditure that could be considered as cost of improvement and that which would be treated as personal effects.

Tax laws provide that the sale consideration minus the cost of acquisition and cost of improvement (both are adjusted by applying cost inflation index) determines capital gains. Higher the cost of those two components, lower is the taxable capital gains and consequently the tax outgo.

The cost of acquisition comprises the purchase of the flat, registration cost, and broker fees. The cost of improvement includes capital expenditure that increases the value of the property.

 

Order: As “personal effects” is not eligible for deduction, out of a total claim of Rs. 14.5 lakh by Komal Sangatani towards the cost of improvement, the ITAT allowed Rs. 9.7 lakh.

MahaRERA: Landowner ordered to takeover a housing project which the builder/developer has abandoned

By Fiona Mehta

 

In a recent landmark ruling, this is one of six similar orders in MahaRERA’s history under Section 7 of the RERA Act. that have allowed project allottees the freedom to choose how their abandoned project will proceed moving forward.

 

Facts of the case: The project in question, Luxury Empire Township Phases 2 and 3, was registered with MahaRERA in July 2017 under the name Goldstar Realtors, with completion dates of December 2022 and December 2024, respectively, according to the website of MahaRERA. In all, 50 buildings were proposed with MahaRERA. However, 30 buildings are registered with MahaRERA.

During the period of 2011 to 2016, buyers were offered possession of their flats or shops within 48 months of the date of allotment. For apartments and retail spaces sold between 2011 and 2016, Goldstar Realtors received 30% and 60% of the sales price, respectively. On the ground, however, no work was done. In fact, since 2017, the project has been on the verge of being abandoned.

Therefore, under sections 7 and 8 of the RERA Act, it demanded the developer’s registration be cancelled. Additionally, the purchasers complained, arguing that the association should be permitted to finish the project on its own or with a different developer approved by MahaRERA. The homebuyers then submitted consent terms to MahaRERA acknowledging the landowner as the developer.

 

Order: In a ruling dated July 5, 2022, the MahaRERA stated that according to the records, it appears that the project’s promoter has given up on it and hasn’t taken any action to see it through to completion. As a result, on May 28, 2022, MahaRERA received the consent terms signed by the allottees and respondent number 2 (the landowner) and dated May 23, 2022. The landowner has agreed to carry out this project, for which the allottees have given their agreement, under the stipulated consent terms. In light of the foregoing, it is deemed necessary to accept the consent terms provided by the allottees and the landowner in order to protect their interests and guarantee the project’s prompt completion.

It further added, “The MahaRERA further noticed that both the respondents are the promoters as defined under Section 2(zk) of the RERA and they are liable to complete this project. The respondent No.2 has a duty as a promoter to complete the project if the respondent No.1 is unable to do so. The landowner must take all additional necessary steps as required by RERA’s requirements and the applicable Rules adopted thereunder. The landowner must defend and uphold the legitimate rights of the project’s allottees as well as follow any previous MahaRERA orders issued in response to complaints against the project.”

MahaREAT: Appeal dismissed for payment of interest alleging delay in the handing possession of an apartment filed by corporate builder

By Fiona Mehta

 

In a recent matter, an appeal for interest payment filed by a corporate buyer alleging a delay in the delivery of an apartment in Mumbai’s Worli neighborhood valued at more than Rs 3.5 crore was dismissed by the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT), which reasoned that the buyer consciously waived any claims against the developer at the time of taking possession.

The tribunal ruled that the waiver could not be taken into consideration because it was made in writing. According to MREAT’s ruling, the buyer resolved the conflict by accepting the amount designated for rentals, therefore the demand for interest and compensation failed to stand up. The buyer was also directed by the tribunal to pay the developer Rs 20,000 in charges.

 

Facts of the case:

The buyer paid a total of Rs 3,77,85,528 to reserve flat No. 6001 in the B-Wing of the Lodha Park development in Worli, Mumbai. The buyer claims that the purchase agreement was signed on April 5, 2013, and that ownership of the apartment was to be given no later than December 31, 2017. The ruling further states that the buyer paid 97% of the total prior to 2017.

On June 13, 2019, the developer received a part occupancy certificate (OC), and on December 27, 2019, he sent out a possession demand letter (PDL) asking the purchasers to pay the remaining balance in order to take possession of the apartment.

However, the purchaser filed a complaint with the MahaRERA in February 2020 under several sections, including Section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development Act, 2016) (RERA), alleging that the developer had failed to transfer possession as agreed. The purchaser also requested a refund of the money plus taxes, stamp duty, and interest from April 5, 2013, to January 31, 2020.

The developer claimed that the buyer signed a key handover letter (KHO) at the time of taking possession, which stated, “The unit has been handed in compliance with the Agreement, and a rental offset in the amount of Rs 15,42,667 has been offered and accepted by you.” As a result, you waive any claims against the company regarding or related to the transfer of possession of your Unit and declare that you have no unresolved complaints against the company. This letter was signed by the buyer.

 

Order: “To determine the controversy on hand with regard to entitlement of Allottee to interest and compensation on account of delay in possession, it is necessary to examine whether the manner in which possession is taken by Allottee amounts to a conscious waiver of its rights under Section 18 of RERA,” the MREAT stated in its judgement dated July 15, 2022, which was uploaded on the MahaRERA website on July 22.

The order stated that signing the letter for the amount specified signifies an agreement between the parties that is reflected in the waiver of claims or grievances, which can only be described as a conscious and well-considered act and “not an unconscious or unintentional act as Allottee (buyer) is trying to make it out to be. Any claims by the buyer particularly related to the transfer of ownership of the unit have been waived. In light of the aforementioned facts and circumstances, it is safe to say that the Allottee has knowingly waived his or her claim against the Promoter for possession delay.

Additionally, the Allottee (buyer) had settled the matter regarding delay by accepting the amount for rentals, therefore, nothing survived actually in the complaint for considering interest and compensation under Section 18 of RERA. Accordingly, the complaint was actually rendered infructuous. In view thereof, there is no infirmity in the view taken by the Authority and the complaint has been rightly dismissed as being infructuous. Appellant/Allottee (buyer) to pay costs of Rs. 20,000 to Respondent / Promoter (developer).

MahaREAT: An act of the partner is binding on the partnership firm.

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Mr. Jervis Anthony Creado and Mrs. Rose Jervis Anthony Creado vs. Aishwarya Light Construction Company (Appeal No. AT006000000052415), this appeal emanates from the order dated 24th December, 2019 passed by MahaRERA whereby the learned Authority had not granted reliefs of interest / compensation under section 18 of the RERA as sought by appellants in their complaint.

 

Facts of the case: The complainants have booked a flat No. 504, on 5th floor, ‘A’
wing ad measuring 466 sq. ft. along with one open parking space in the project ‘Aishwarya Heights’ of the respondent situated at Andheri, Mumbai for a consideration of Rs. 80,00,000/-. The respondent had issued allotment letter dated 27th February 2017 to the allottees. The allottees have paid entire consideration to the developer.

On 27th February, 2017 the respondent has executed unregistered agreement for sale with the CC006000000141152 filed by the appellants whereby, the complainants and agreed to handover possession of the subject flat to complainants by December, 2017. The developer neither registered agreement for sale nor handed over possession of suit flat to complainants therefore the complainants filed complaint and sought directions to developer.

The developer appeared in the complaint and disputed the claim of complainants contending in his reply that the alleged agreement for sale does not confer any right to the complainants as it was an arrangement between them and therefore the same has not been registered.

It is worthy to note that though the agreement for sale was undated but the facts remains that one of the partners of the respondent has agreed to handover the possession of the subject flat to allottees by December, 2017. An act of the partner is binding on the partnership firm.

 

What options does Section 18 of RERA Act gives you? Section 18 gives an option to the allottees either to continue with the project by claiming interest on delayed period of possession or to withdraw from the project and to claim refund of entire amount along with interest including compensation. In the instant case allottees have chosen the first option. It clearly shows that the allottees are interested in getting possession of the flat as they have already paid substantial amount out of the total price of the flat to the promoter.

 

Order: The impugned order shows that the learned authority has denied relief of interest on account of delayed possession only for the reason that there is no registered agreement for sale executed between the parties showing any agreed date of possession. However, the material produced on record and the impugned order clearly indicate that one of the partners of respondent executed undated agreement for sale with the complainants.

Moreover, the respondent has also not disputed the factum of execution of undated agreement for sale by its partner. Therefore, we are of the view that the allottees are entitled to interest on their investments from January, 2018. Therefore, the appeal is allowed by the MahaREAT.

How a recent Supreme Court ruling extends the legal rights of a daughter to her father’s property

By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Arunachala Gounder, the Supreme Court Judgment dated 20th January 2022 has whipped up a lot of interest and intrigue – more so among the general population than the legal community. The Judgment delivered by a Bench of Hon’ble Justice Abdul Nazeer and Hon’ble Justice Krishna Murari delves into the realms of a daughter’s rights on her father’s self-acquired property or his share in partitioned coparcenary/family property.

 

What was the issue?

The most recent Supreme Court decision addresses a daughter’s legal entitlement to inherit her father’s “self-acquired” property in the absence of any other legal successor with inheritable rights. This implies the Hon’ble Court decided whether the property’s lawful heir would be the daughter by ‘inheritance’ or her father’s brother’s son through survivorship. One important fact is that the Judgment deals with a scenario before the commencement of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

 

What the Supreme Court has said:

The Honorable Court stated unequivocally that a self-acquired property or a share received in a partition of a coparcenary property by a Hindu male who died intestate (without leaving behind a legally valid Will) will devolve (i.e. be transferred) by “inheritance” rather than “survivorship,” implying that the daughter of a Hindu male will be entitled to such property before any other collaterals.

In the present case – The Hindu male died intestate. He was living in a joint family. However, the property in question was his ‘self-acquired’ property and therefore, his sole surviving daughter had all the rights to inherit his property and not his brother’s son (through survivorship).

 

Who inherits the property after the death of the daughter of the Hindu male who died intestate?

The Hindu Succession Act of 1956 solidified inheritance among all Hindus (irrespective of school of philosophy). A Hindu female’s property (including property gained by inheritance) is her absolute property, according to Section 14 of the aforementioned Act. As a result, the misunderstanding caused by some old conventions that a Hindu girl could only enjoy the inherited property throughout her ‘lifetime’ was also dispelled.

The succession of such properties (owned by Hindu females) in absence of a Will/testament is governed by Section 15 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956 and in terms of the ‘order of succession’ as provided for in Section 16 of the same Act.

 

Legal heirs of Hindu female who dies without a valid will:

When a Hindu female dies intestate, her self-acquired property will devolve in terms of Section 15(1), firstly by her class-I legal heirs viz. the children and the husband, if alive.

However, when a Hindu female dies intestate leaving behind inherited property, then as per Section 15 (2), if she dies issueless viz. without any children, then the property inherited from her father or mother will go to the heirs of her father. Similarly, property inherited from her husband or father-in-law will go to the heirs of the husband. The Supreme Court in the present Judgment has affirmed the sanctity of this provision by stating that the intent of the Legislature in carving out the ex ..

 

Supreme Court Decision:

The recent Supreme Court pronouncement clarifies the inheritance laws as applicable to a Hindu female as follows:

(a) The Hindu daughter inherits the self-acquired property of her father

(b) The rule of ‘inheritance’ prevails and not the rule of ‘survivorship’.

(c) The Hindu female has an ‘absolute’ right in such property (in terms of the Hindu Succession Act, 1956) and not a limited ‘lifetime’ interest.

(d) Such property can revert to the ‘source’ only when the Hindu female dies without leaving behind a child.

(e) In absence of a Will/Testament, such property devolves upon her legal heirs as per the terms of Section 15 and 16 of The Hindu Succession Act, 1956.

 

The Hon’ble Court has answered all the unanswered questions and redefined the law. While there could be a minuscule percentage of such cases, they would not drag on for many years, because the law has been clearly laid, leaving no room for any conundrum.

MahaRERA: Failure of completion of a flat project will lead to money refunded plus interest to buyers

RERABy Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Mr. Vikas Gupta and Neena Gupta v. M/s. Wheelabrator Alloy Castings Ltd and M/s. Runwal Real Estates Pvt. Ltd (CC006000000197002) under the MahaRERA Authority on 17th January 2022, the complainants had filed this complaint seeking directions  from MahaRERA to the respondent to refund the amount with interest and  handover possession under the provisions of section 18 of the Real Estate  (Regulation & Development) Act, 2016 in  respect of the booking of a flat in the  respondent’s registered project known as “Runwal Forests Tower 5-8” in Mumbai.

During the hearing on September 2, 2021, the respondents were fined Rs. 10,000/- for failing to file their replies on MahaRERA’s record. The respondents, on the other hand, filed a review application to have the order set aside, which the MahaRERA granted after hearing the parties on October 5, 2021.

 

Facts:

The complainants had reserved the aforementioned flat in the project registered by the landowner, respondent No. 1, for which a letter of allotment dated 18th October 2015 was properly issued to the complainants upon payment of the booking price of Rs. 59,91,565/-. Respondent No. 1 specified August 2019 as the date of possession in the stated assignment letter. Following that, on August 19, 2016, an agreement for sale was signed and registered, and the date of possession was altered to February 2020. The complainants alleged that they had paid a significant portion of the compensation.

Furthermore, the proposed completion date for Tower 8 has been pushed back several times till October 31, 2021. The complainants were then informed, via an e-mail dated 8th April 2021, that the project was completed up to 40 levels. The complainants then asked to be removed from the project. Furthermore, work on the flat sold to the complainants under the agreement for sale has yet to begin. As a result, the complainants are seeking a return of the monies spent to date, plus interest, as well as amounts paid for Stamp Duty and Registration, GST, VAT, Service Tax, and other taxes.

The MahaRERA has reviewed both parties’ submissions as well as the public record. The complainants, who are allottees of this project, have approached MahaRERA with this complaint, requesting a refund as well as interest for the delayed possession under section 18 of the RERA. The complainants further claimed that section 12 of the RERA had been also violated.

The respondent promoter refuted the complainants’ claim by filing written representations on record with MahaRERA, claiming that the delay in this project was caused by the competent authorities issuing Stop Work Notices due to a lack of Naval NOC, and that this was beyond its control. In light of the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court’s decision in the case of Janta Land Developers, the respondent has also rejected the complainants’ claims by raising the question of MahaRERA’s single bench’s jurisdiction to decide this complaint on its own.

 

Judgement/Held:

Given the facts and circumstances of this matter, the MahaRERA believes there is substance to the grounds for delay provided by the respondent, and that the delay was beyond the respondent’s control. As a result, the respondent is entitled to request MahaRERA’s assistance in completing this project. However, the respondent has now committed to finish the project and hand over control of the property to the complainants by acquiring the occupancy certificate on or before June 30, 2022.

Given these facts, the present complaint is dismissed with a directive to the respondent promoter to complete the project, obtain an occupancy certificate, and hand over possession of the said flat to the complainant on or before June 30, 2022, failing which, the complainants’ money will be refunded, plus interest, at the rate of SBI’s Highest Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) plus 2%, as prescribed under the provisions of the SBI Act.

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