Lawyer says builders duped her by selling illegal space

Kanta Gidwani alleges AK Developers failed to give her legal papers of property after firm made unauthorised terrace in duct shaft to provide entrance to office she bought

A 48-year-old woman advocate has been allegedly duped of Rs 3 lakh by a city-based real estate firm that violated the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) norms while redeveloping a three-storey building in which she bought an office space.

Foul play: The 'terrace' is nothing but the flooring on the duct, which 
opens to a square tunnel view of the sky

According to Kanta Gidwani, three years have passed since she bought the 150-sq ft office space on the first floor of the building in 2008. But she has not been able to use her new office as the builders have not been able to procure the Completion and Occupancy Certificates from the PMC. 

The PMC notice put up on the door to Gidwani's property. 
Pics/Krunal Gosavi 

Most importantly, the entrance to the office has been given through the very duct where a floor has been constructed, inviting a notice from the PMC notice on November 25. Grace Apartments was redevelopment following inking of an agreement between the tenants and AK Developers in 2006. 

According to Gidwani, Azim Golandaz and Nazir Shaikh, both associated with the AK Developers, lured her into purchasing the office space for a sum of Rs 3 Lakh and also promised to give her a terrace, measuring 48 sq ft. 
The advocate could not turn down such a mouth-watering deal and decided to pounce it only to realise later that the 'terrace' was be nothing but the flooring on the duct. Looking up from where you could only see a square tunnel view of the sky.

No valid papers
When Gidwani temporarily moved into the flat and asked for legal possession certificates from the builders, they started making excuses. "They started avoiding me. I felt something fishy in their behaviour and decided to move out of the place as I knew that staying there without valid documents would attract legal actions. I shifted my office back to my residence in Wanowrie. I tried selling off this place, but the prospective buyers are asking for valid documents which AK Developers are yet to give me", said Gidwani. 

Frustrated, Gidwani decided to procure details of the building plan and other documents from the PMC's Building Permission Department through RTI pleas and convinced her associates to file applications under RTI. Now they are awaiting reply to the department. "This will not only open up a can of worms, but also prod the PMC to take action against illegal construction done by the builders." 

After studying the building layout plan approved by the PMC, Gidwani realised that the developer had doctored original plan. She also said that the builder still hasn't issued a receipt of the Rs 3 Lakh paid to them. Rajendra Jadhav from the PMC's building department said that the notice was issued after he himself surveyed the building. Asked about the alleged forgery on the plan layout, he said "I will have to personally look at the plan. We will take action if there has been any foul play on the part of the builder."

The Other side
Nazir Shaikh from AK Developers said that they had already applied for a revised layout and building plan two years ago, but the matter was still pending with the PMC. "We also haven't got the occupancy certificate because occupancy hasn't gone beyond 90%," he said.

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