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Bombay High Court directs Maharashtra Govt to resolve Flat Buyer’s Dispute expeditiously

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Raju Vernekar

A division bench comprising Justices G S Kulkarni and F P Pooniwalla has directed the Maharashtra Government to resolve within 06 weeks, the dispute of a flat buyer who was not given possession of the flat despite MahaRERA directing the developer to do so, two years back.

While disposing of a writ petition (No 3019/2023) on January 04, filed by Chanchal Rastogi and others, against the Maharashtra Government, the bench noted that the complaint of the petitioner is that MahaRERA’s directive (complaint No CC006000000171944) issued in 2021 was not complied with. As such it directed the Government to deal with the petitioner’s complaint expeditiously not later than 06 weeks.

Chanchal Rastogi, Anita Rastogi and Savitri Rastogi, basically from Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh had filed the petition. The Maharashtra Government, MahaRERA, Era Realtors Private Limited and Omkar Realtors and Developers Private Limited (having an office at Omkar House, Chunabhatti, Sion, Mumbai 400022) and the authorized signatories- Vrindesh Rajesh Agarwal and Madab Mistry Mohanlal were the respondents.

Rastogi had booked the flat No. 1006 on the 10th floor in D tower of the Omkar Alta Monte Project, Malad East in North Mumbai for a total consideration of Rs. 4,73,30,400/- in September 2012. He paid 90% of the cost amounting to Rs.4,22,68,102/-. An agreement was executed on May 07, 2013, with the possession date stipulated as June 01, 2017.

However, since he could not get possession in time, Rastogi filed a complaint with RERA in December 2019. In response, MahaRERA on February 12, 2021, issued the order directing Era Realtors Private Limited, Omkar Realtors and Developers Private Limited, Vrindesh Rajesh Agarwal and Madab Mistry Mohanlal to pay interest to Rastogi until the full Occupation Certificate (OC) was obtained. The interest was specified to be payable from July 01, 2018, until the date of obtaining the OC.

Despite the issuance of the order, the developer did not comply with the order. As such the petitioner filed an application for the non-execution of the MahaRERA’s order on August 5, 2021. The first hearing was held in MahaRERA on June 22, 2022, during which the respondent developer was granted one week to resolve the matter. But no progress was made in the matter since then. However, the MahaRERA also did not respond to several emails sent seeking an expedition of the proceedings, the petitioner alleged.

Besides, the developer obtained the Occupancy Certificate (OC) only for the bare shell, without including the promised amenities, the petitioner alleged. Since he was residing on a leave license accommodation in Mumbai, it put an enormous financial burden on him, the petitioner stated.

As such he filed the petition seeking court intervention to direct, the MahaRERA to expedite the hearing and to ensure the effective implantation of its order issued in 2021.

Sulaiman Bhimani along with Sharan Fernandez and Kevin Gala (the Law Suits) appeared for the petitioners. Shakeeb Shaikh along with Noorain Patil (Diamondwala and Company) appeared for the developer and his two authorised signatories.

MahaRERA spokesman said that the necessary action will be taken against the developer if he fails to hand over the possession of the flat to the petitioner.

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