MahaRERA rescues 12 Home Buyers Stuck in Legal Tangle

Intervenes despite it being a civil suit; developer directed to execute power of attorney to co-promoter for registering sale agreement.

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MUMBAI: In a major relief to 12 home buyers whose civil suits against the developer have been pending before the City Civil Court since 2012, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed Terrain Infrastructure Pvt Ltd to execute the power of attorney to co-promoter Shubh Shelters India Pvt Ltdwithin seven days to enable the latter to execute registered sale agreement with the buyers of this Santacruz building.

The case demonstrates the effectiveness of MahaRERA as regulator in protecting the interests of home buyers stuck in an unending legal spiral. A group of home buyers had filed complaints against Terrain Infrastructure demanding that the developer execute and register the agreement for sale for their flats and restrain the developer from selling any more apartments in Terrain Heights, an 11-storey building in Vakola, Santacruz.

During the hearings, Terrain Infrastructure said it had nothing to do with the buyers as the bookings were done by Shubh Shelters India Pvt Ltd, a promoter company formed by two directors from Terrain Infrastructure. The complaints by home buyers were dismissed by MahaRERA at that point as the matters were pending before another forum, the City Civil Court.

Later, Shubh Shelters India filed a complaint against Terrain Infrastructure that it is not unable to execute agreements for sale as Terrain had failed to give power of attorney as per the consent terms signed between them in April 2014 in connection with a company petition filed by it before the Bombay High Court.

As per the consent terms, Terrain Infrastructure was to allot 16 apartments to Shubh Shelters which include 14 disputed apartments where third party rights have been created, and two other apartments. Moreover, it was also required to execute registered power of attorney in favour of Shubh Shelters only for the execution of sale agreements of these 16 apartments.

Adjudicating officer and chairperson of MahaRERA Gautam Chatterjee ruled that though the dispute between the two is of a civil nature, the authority had to intervene to protect the interests of the 12 home buyers who own 14 apartments.

Directing Terrain Infrastructure’s director Raja Advani to execute and registered power of attorney in favour of Shubh Shelters, Chatterjee also ordered Shubh Shelters to registered the sale agreement with the 14 home buyerswithin 45 days. The buyers include Jitendra Mehta (flat 902), Neetu and Pradeep Lutharia (flats 601, 604, 704) who had filed civil suits which are still pending before the Citiy Civil Court since 2012.

In a separate order pertaining to the Anchor Park project in Vasai where home buyers had already moved in without an Occupancy Certificate, Chatterjee asked Lakozy Builders LLP to complete all amenities in the project by December 31, 2018 and initiate the process of formation of a co-operative housing society within 30 days as per the march 2016 circular issued by the Commissioner Cooperation and Registrar of Co-operative Societies.

Four home buyers of Briza building in Anchor Park had complained to MahaRERA that though the developer had not completed all the common amenities in the project, they had occupied their flats in November 2015 though it is incomplete and does not have an Occupancy Certificate (OC). With the OC, the buyers are not ready to initiate the process of forming a co-operative housing society.

In separate orders, Chatterjee also directed Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt Ltd and promoter Michael Rodrigues to advance possession dates and handover flats to home buyers by December 31, 2018 and March 31, 2019 in their respective housing projects as per Maharashtra Real Estate Rules. Rule 4 specifically states that the revised date of possession for an ongoing project has to be commensurate with the extent of balance development.

Home buyer Dasharath Bangera who had booked a flat in C wing of Sentosa Park in Virar in June 2013 had filed a complaint with MahaRERA stating that the developer first promised possession in December 2016, then extended it to June 2017, and has now revised the completion date to June 30 2020.

Similarly George Sequeira had filed a complaint against Michael Rodrigues claimed that he was promised possession in December 2016 for a flat he booked in June 2015 in Madonna building in Madonna Colony in Borivali West, but the developer extended it to December 2017, and has now revised the completion date to December 15, 2019.

 

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