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Mumbai: Some buyers unaware of MahaRERA extension to developer

Updated on: 01 April,2023 07:21 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vinod Kumar Menon |

They had gone to the Clan City site at Taloja to get possession of their flats, as March 30 was the revised possession date on the MahaRERA portal

Mumbai: Some buyers unaware of MahaRERA extension to developer

Flat buyers at the site of Clan City Taloja on Friday. Pic/Jiwat Manglani

Many buyers, who had booked flats in project Clan City, Taloja, went to the defunct construction site on Friday, with the hope of getting possession of their flats, but had to return disappointed. The developer, according to flat buyers, had given March 30 as the revised possession date on the MahaRERA portal. The earlier possession date was in December 2017.

Interestingly, the developer M/s Supreme Construction and Developers Private Limited had been given an extension by MahaRERA on March 27, for a year, until March 2024, which most flat buyers, who turned up at the site, were unaware of. mid-day in its article titled ‘5 yrs on, Clan City buyers seek relief’ dated February 25, had highlighted the plight of flat buyers.

Jiwat Manglani, a flat buyer from Chembur, said, “Most flat buyers had come from far off places and were hopeful of getting possession today, but were disappointed.” When asked about the RERA extension time of a year, Manglani said, “On March 28 some of us  received a WhatsApp message on behalf of the developer, intimating us about the extension. It was decided in advance to visit the site, so we went anyway. Also, as many were unaware about the latest extension, it was more important to meet the other flat buyers and discuss the next course of action. Construction activity at the site has been completely halted for the past few years.”

Also read: MahaRERA: Only 30 per cent of project constructed but funds over

On March 27, MahaRERA had set aside 11 complaints against the developer, of which nine complainants had sought relief under section 18 of RERA for possession of their flats with interest and compensation, while two had sought refund of the amount paid along with interest and compensation.

Respondent’s argument

The respondent refuted claims of the complainants stating that the project was delayed due to various reasons, external causes, obstacles, administrative uncertainty, policy paralysis of statutory authorities, government departments since this was the first project of rental housing scheme of MMRDA in Navi Mumbai. 

The respondent also cited delay on part of governmental authorities concerned like MMRDA, Panvel Municipal Corporation, CIDCO, etc. In addition, the respondent has also contended that the Development Agreement executed by it with the landowners has been challenged before the  High Court (by the landowner) and the   Bombay High Court has passed an injunction order on April 26, 2022, by which the bank accounts of the respondent have been frozen. 

The complainants have refuted the claims of the respondent and contended that all delays are the responsibility of the respondent alone, and the injunction granted by the Bombay High Court is also because the landowner filed a petition because of the delay. Hence, they prayed these complaints be allowed.

MahaRERA order

Mahesh Phatak, MahaRERA Member 1, passed a 37-page detailed order, wherein he partly allowed the complaints filed. He also directed the respondent to refund the entire amount paid by two of the complainants towards the consideration of the said flats along with interest at the rate of SBI’s Highest Marginal Cost Lending Rate (MCLR), plus 2 per cent as prescribed under section 18 of the RERA Act, 2016 from December 31, 2020 to the  complainants.

However, in view of the order passed by the High Court, whereby the bank accounts of the respondent have been frozen, the respondent was directed to make the said payment within three months in three equal instalments from the date the accounts were un-frozen by the court.

The respondent promoter is further directed to pay interest for the delayed possession to the complainants (nine of them) from January 1, 2021 till the actual date of possession for every month till the actual date of possession.

However, in view of  mitigating circumstances beyond the control of the promoter and also to ensure that the said project is not jeopardised due to the outflow of finances and is completed keeping in mind the interest of the other buyers, it is directed that the amounts of interest shall be paid by the promoter to the complainants after obtaining the full occupancy certificate.

Experts speak

Advocate Shreeprasad Parab, expert director, State Housing Federation said, “Real estate projects involve a number of approvals from various government authorities which is the main reason not only for delay in the projects, but also with regards to violation of rules and regulations leading to illegal constructions. The State Housing Federation has requested the state authorities to implement a single window system by creating a portal which will include the DCPR rules and regulations."

Advocate Godfrey Pimenta, trustee of Watchdog Foundation said "The flat purchasers of Clan City are caught in a dispute between land owners and developer. It is really a sorry state of affairs for the hapless home buyers.”

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