MahaRera recently ordered a builder to refund Rs 8 lakh with 9% interest to a buyer after the project did not receive a commencement certificate (CC) from the BMC.
The project was on a plot in Kanjurmarg which required a ministry of defence (MoD) clearance. As the MoD did not give its approval, the BMC did not grant a CC and the builder said he would give buyers alternative accommodation in a project in Airoli.
MahaRera member B D Kapadnis in his October 12 order, which was made available on Saturday, said that since the builder defaulted in obtaining a CC, the money deposited by the buyer, Mahesh Parulekar, could not be treated as earnest money liable for forfeiture. Without the CC the builder should not have launched the project and accepted bookings, said the order.
The Rera Act is clear that at the time of registration of the project authenticated copies of approvals and CC are to be uploaded, said the order.
“Unfortunately in this case, the respondent launched the project without obtaining the CC,” Kapadnis said.
He said such grounds for failure to proceed with project would fall under ‘any other reason’ mentioned under the refund provision of Rera Act under Section 18.
MahaRera noted that the booking was subject to grant of loan, which the buyer could not get since there was no municipal permission for the project, as argued by Parulekar’s counsel Anil D’Souza. Parulekar had filed a complaint before the MahaRera against Sanjeevani Vyapar LLP over a project called ‘Avante’ at Hariyali, Kanjurmarg in central Mumbai suburbs. He had paid almost Rs 8 lakh. He sought a refund.
The builder through counsel Aditya Panikar pleaded not guilty for the delay. He said the completion date declared to Rera was June 30, 2022, and so the complaint was not maintainable under Section 18 of the Rera Act, which provides for compensation and refund on failing to complete a project. He said that though asked in January 2018, the buyer did not come forward to execute the sale agreement.
MahaRera held the builder liable to refund Parulekar and pay Rs 20,000 towards cost of complaint.