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Promises unkept, builder told to refund booking amount-MahaRERA

Rapping a developer for terminating the booking of a flat, Maharashtra Real Estate Authority (MahaRERA) allowed its purchasers to withdraw from the project at Kandivli (west) and directed return of their entire amount paid, along with interest, within two months.

Maharashtra Real Estate Authority (MahaRERA) allowed its purchasers to withdraw from the project at Kandivli (west) and directed return of their entire amount paid, along with interest, within two months.

The direction was given on a complaint by brothers Jignesh and Gulab Khemani. In April 2017 they booked a 595 sq ft flat on the 33rd floor “Ruparel Sky Greens- I” – a project of three 40-floor buildings — for Rs 1.10 crore. They paid over Rs 55 lakh to Shree Siddhivinayak Infrastructure & Realty.

While possession was promised by December 2019, the date of completion of the project was revised from December 31, 2021 to June 30, 2022. Amenities like – double heighted lobby, podium and swimming pool were removed. On January 7, 2021, the developer terminated the booking and threatened to forfeit 20% of sale agreement value and taxes.Khemanis’ advocate Godfrey Pimenta said they believed the brochure that possession would be given in December 2019 and regarding amenities. But it was a false representation. The developer’s reply said it terminated the booking due to non-payment of timely dues and the Khemanis were aware of layout changes.

In his April 22 order, member Dr Vijay Satbir Singh said, “The respondent, after giving any specific date of possession, cannot be entitled to change it subsequently, while registering this project with MahaRERA. It amounts to misrepresentation to the complainants-allottees.” He added that the developer violated section 12 of RERA and allottees are entitled to refund with interest.

While the developer alleged the Khemanis failed to register the sale agreement, Singh said it has “no relevance’’ as they have decided to withdraw from the project. He noted that Khemanis had put their money for booking the flat but the developer kept them “in a lurch by taking a huge amount and tormented the complainants ” from 2017.

The developer also “unilaterally” terminated the booking despite failing to complete the project and also accepted over 20 % amount violating MOFA as well as RERA. “Hence, the MahaRERA feels that the said termination is illegal and bad in law,’’ he concluded.

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