MahaRERA In Action: Builder Fined Rs 7 Crore, Big Win For Buyers
After its inception just about a year ago, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) came down heavily on the erring developers on more occasions than one. Recently, the regulatory body took a decision that justifies the objective of its creation of ensuring transparency and safeguarding the buyers’ interests. MahaRERA fined a developer with Rs 7 crore for failing to meet the project deadline, after receiving a joint complaint from the buyers.
The developer of project Bhagtani Serenity at Powai, JVPD Properties Private Limited, was asked to make a refund of Rs 7.10 crore to 21 homebuyers along with an interest of 15 per cent. The refund has been granted with reference to the allotment letter given by the developer. These buyers had booked apartments under the project during 2013 and 2015. However, what they received after years of long wait was just a letter from the developer apologising for not delivering the project by citing various approval related delays.
As per RERA officials, the developer contested the case by arguing that the buyers were only investors who neither insisted for the sale agreement nor had the right to file any complaint. Upon submission of the buyers’ payment sheet, the officials were apprised about the details of tax payment and about 40 per cent of the apartment-cost paid by the buyers. Representing the buyers’ side, advocate Tanuj Lodha said that MahaRERA acknowledges the rights of the allottees, who have paid their hard-earned money, even if they do not have any agreement deed.
In 2017, The Bombay High Court had chided the same developer to refund the buyers’ money under the delaying projects - Bhagtani Riyo in Mira Road and Bhagtani Serenity in Powai. The court also said it will vacate pre-arrest interim protection if the builder does not comply with the ruling. In another development, the state’s regulatory authority has imposed a fine of Rs 50 lakh on Piramal Realty. The developer had not mentioned MahaRERA website address and the project’s registration number in an advertisement. In March 2018, the body fined eight developers, a sum ranging between Rs 2 lakh to Rs 10 lakh for a similar offence of violating the advertisement norms.
The latest decision on the Powai project comes as a huge relief for hundreds of buyers who have been deceived with an unkept promise.