The Maharashtra Real Estate and Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) recently directed a builder to refund the entire amount of almost Rs 1.5 crore and permitted a couple who had booked a flat to withdraw from a Malad (W) residential project.
Sapna Shukla and Vivek Gaonkar had booked a 715 sq ft carpet area flat on the ninth floor of a free sale building in 2013 and were waiting for almost a decade for possession despite paying almost fully, their lawyer Mustafa Kachwala told MahaRERA.
The couple had filed a complaint before MahaRERA against Sanket International Ltd (now Rajsanket Realty Ltd) for refund. The complainants said “at the time of booking the flat, the respondent had categorically informed the complainants that they will handover possession of the flat with occupation certificate within three years from execution of the agreement.’’
The buyers said the builder told them to pay interest on outstanding money to the bank from which they had taken a loan which under a tripartite agreement, the builder was liable to pay but had failed to in 2019.
Jignesh Waghela representing the builder contested the complaint stating that it is “not governed under RERA’’ but falls under Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA) and that the MahaRERA has no jurisdiction to decide this complaint which “arose out of facility agreement executed with ICICI Bank.’’ The builder agreed to handover possession of the flat on the date mentioned on MahaRERA website.
MahaRERA member Vijay Satbir Singh in his order on March 25 through video-conferencing said, “The complainants paid almost the entire consideration which included loan under subvention scheme in 2013. However, they are waiting for their home even after nine years and they are being asked by the respondent to pay pre-EMI. Normally a project should be complete in 3-5 years as held by the apex court in its judgements.’’ He held that the builder had failed to comply with a clause in the agreement. Despite agreeing to, the builder stopped paying since 2019 pre-EMIs to the bank and “it amounts to misrepresentation to the allottees’’ said the MahaRERA order.
RERA Act permits a buyer to withdraw from a project if there is delay or violations by a builder.
The authority directed the builder to pay refund with interest and if entire amount is not paid within two months, the builder “must pay Rs 5,000 per day of default till actual date compliance’’.