The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed the SSD Escatics Private Ltd to refund a home buyers from a Goregaon project a sum of Rs 71 lakh with 10.75 per cent interest from June 2014 after ruling that the developer had made false statements of giving possession by December 2016 and claimed Commencement Certificate (CC) till 14th floor when he had CC only till 7th floor.

Home buyers Kishore Hassanandani and Nishta Sharma had booked flat A-903 on the 12th floor of Goregaon Pearl CHS Ltd in Goregaon West in November 2013. They were promised possession on or before December 2016.”

The flat in question is in the free sale component of Goregaon Pearl MHADA redevelopment project undertaken by SSD Escatics Pvt Ltd, a part of the Jayesh and Deep Tanna-promoted Shree Sai Developers group.

Pleading not guilty, advocates Abhay Arora and Karan Bhosale, appearing for the developer, cited Maharashtra government’s restriction in sanctioning pro-rata FSI and the injunctions given in litigations by the Goregaon Pearl Co-operative Housing Society for the delay in completion. They submitted that in January 2015, the Maharashtra government issued a circular restraining its officers from sanctioning the pro-rata FSI which was only lifted in July 2017.

They submitted that the society filed two arbitration petitions in 2016 and 2018 in which the court had restrained the developer from creating any third party rights and handing over possession of any flats of the project.

On the point of Commencement Certificate, the advocates claimed that the developer had received CC up to 7th floor on February 15, 2014 but blamed one of their employees for changing it from 7th floor to 14th floor. The developer had already sacked the employee for the mischief, they said.

After hearing both parties, MahaRERA Member Bhalchandra Kapadnis said the developer had accepted 44 per cent of the flat cost without registering an agreement though both Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA) and RERA provisions prohibit promoters from accepting more than 10 to 20 per cent of flat cost without first registering an agreement for sale.

Kapadnis said the documents show that December 31, 2016 was the proposed date of possession and held the developer had made a false statement. Stating that even if the reasons for the delay cited by the developer were really true, he said under Section 8 of MOFA the date of possession cannot be extended beyond six months under any circumstances.

The complainants have booked the flat in 2013 i.e. six years ago, and this period cannot be said to be reasonable period. Therefore I find that the complainants are entitled to get refund of their amount under Section 12 with interest from the date of payment till the refund,” he said. Aggrieved parties can challenge MahaRERA orders before the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal within 60 days.

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