MahaRERA asks two developers to bury hatchet, deliver Andheri project
Publish on : 2020-10-07 15:31:13
Regulator gives relief to home buyers stuck in luxury project, ruling that both developers have statutory duty as promoters to complete project and give possession
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has asked two developers to settle their differences, obtain Occupancy Certificate from the Slum Rehabilitation Authority and give possession to homebuyers from Callista project in Andheri (East).
MahaRERA held both Charmi Nirman and Joy and Sayla Realtors, whose internal disputes have held up the OC since 2018, equally responsible for delivering the project.
Home buyers Bharti and Amitkumar Lathiya had booked flats 816 and 817 in Callista, a 17-storey project, in April 2012. The agreements for sale were signed in mid-2016 with the promise of possession on or before March 31, 2018. Out of the flat cost of Rs 76.50 lakh each, they have paid Rs 60.30 lakh for each flat. But Joy and Sayla Realtors failed to deliver possession on time, and after October 2018 stopped construction.
A year later, the developer sent a letter informing the Lathiyas that their joint development partner Charmi Nirman has terminated the power of attorney, and the SRA has also issued stop work notice, and hence they are unable to construct till further approval comes. The letter also claimed that the building cannot progress beyond 13 floors presently constructed and gave them the option of refund.
Advocate Nilesh Gala, who appeared for the Lathiyas, argued that though the developers projected a dispute between them, they had not taken any legal action against each other, and said his clients were being pressured to withdraw from the project and accept refund as prices in the area had increased manifold since their 2012 booking.
Advocates J Narula and Satish Dedhia, appearing for Joy and Sayla Realtors, submitted that Charmi Nirman is the owner and developer of the SRA scheme, and has given it the development rights of the sale component, Callista. They pointed out that under the SRA scheme, the benefits of approvals as also the FSI to be consumed in sale building are directly dependent upon the development and progress of the rehab component and the FSI benefits accrue only when the corresponding rehab component is first completed by the developer. Since Charmi Nirman is responsible for rehab component, paying pending transit rent of two years to slum dwellers, removing non-cooperating slum dwellers is their responsibility.
They alleged that Charmi Nirman was taking advantage of the fact that the sale component’s progress is dependent on the completion of rehab component, and creating hindrances to obstruct the construction of Callista. They claimed that by not withdrawing a writ petition filed for eviction of a slum dweller who has left his structure years ago, Charmi Nirman is purposely obstructing demolition of his structure occupied by third parties and thus obstructing construction of the last rehab building. They alleged that in order to stop the work of the sale building, Charmi Nirman had purposely defaulted on payment of transit rent to eligible slum dwellers, triggering stop work notices by the SRA based on slum dwellers’ complaints.
Joy and Sayla Realtors contended that Charmi Nirman was added as a co-promoter to the project in December 2017 after a High Court verdict clarifying the definition of co-promoters under Section 2 (zk) of Real Estate (Regulation and development) Act (RERA). They said they had already completed construction of Callista up to 13th floor in October 2018, but Charmi Nirman and the architect were not completing their obligations and applying for Part Occupancy Certificate Charmi Nirman had submitted that Lathiyas being home buyers from the sale component, it had no contract with them, and alleged their complaint was a collusive complaint at the behest of Joy and Sayla Realtors. It also argued that MahaRERA has allowed Callista’s date of possession to be revised to December 30, 2020, which is yet to arrive, and hence the complaint for delayed possession is premature.
After hearing all stakeholders, MahaRERA member Dr Vijay Satbir Singh observed that irrespective of the internal disputes between the two promoters, the slum dwellers of the rehab component and the home buyers of the sale components should not be kept in lurch by both the promoters.
He said it is the statutory obligation of both as promoters to complete the construction as per sanctioned plan, obtain the OC, and hand over possession of the units to the Callista allottees as per Section 19 of RERA.
SRA Executive Engineer Mahishi, who was also part of the final online hearing, agreed that it would consider the grant of OC if the architect Ajit Rane sought it. Singh then directed Charmi Nirman to instruct its architect to seek the OC from the SRA, and directed the SRA to consider it within 30 days of the application.