The Bombay high court on Wednesday issued a show-cause notice to a city developer who failed to hand over new flats to tenants in a Vile Parle building. The court asked the developer, Sachin Kelkar of Icon Builders and Developers, why he should not be sent to jail for making false statements and for withholding vital information from the court.
Justice SJ Kathawalla asked Kelkar to file his response within ten days.
Acting on a plea by the Homai Mahal Premises Cooperative Housing Society at Vile Parle, which was being redeveloped by Kelkar,the developer was ordered to deposit his passport with the court and to not sell or part with his other properties, including his luxury cars.
Twenty-three members of the housing society said that though Kelkar began redevelopment of the property in 2010, he has not yet handed over the new flats to the tenants, even though they were promised new lodging within 24 months. They said that though they vacated their flats in November 2010, they are yet to get the new flats.
The judge noted that though Kelkar has completed the construction of seven floors, the new building has a commencement certificate valid only till the third floor.
The judge ordered the Economic Offences Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai police to probe the allegations of Kelkar fabricating a commencement certificate. It asked the EOW to submit a report by September 19.
In an earlier order, the court observed that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) had said that two bogus commencement certificates bearing the forged signatures of civic officials were annexed to a sale agreement executed by the developer.
On Wednesday, Justice Kathawalla warned that two other developers involved in two separate litigations would be sent to jail. One of them sold flats meant to rehabilitate three members — whose old building in Kandivli is being redeveloped — to a third party. The other developer, facing similar charges of failing to meet the deadline for redevelopment, faced the wrath of the court for failing to furnish complete details of his assets.