Delayed realty projects: GBP Group head now faces up to three-year jail term
In fresh trouble for Satish Gupta, the managing director of Gupta Builders and Promoters (GBP) Group, the Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), Punjab, has ordered legal proceedings against him, which may lead to a jail term of up to three years.
The authority acted on the complaint of a resident of Chandigarh’s Sector 7, who had complained that he booked a commercial space of 100 square feet in GBP Smart City project in New Chandigarh and paid ₹10 lakh.
An agreement came about in February 2020. But later, he came to know that requisite approvals were not obtained by the builder. In fact, the group was penalised for the very same project in May 2019, but no remedial steps were taken, the complaint stated, demanding penalty for the builder and refund of his deposit.
Accepting the complaint, the authority, presided over by chairperson Navreet Singh Kang, ordered proceedings under Sections 59 (2) and 61 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act against Gupta and the company.
Under Section 59 (2) of the Act, a promoter can face a jail term up to three years for not complying with RERA orders, while Section 61 may invite a penalty of up to 5% of the estimated cost of a real estate project.
Statutory approvals missing
In May 2019, upon checking the sites, RERA had found that the said project did not have basic statutory approvals, such as CLU, approvals of layout and building plans, and grant of licence to develop a colony. Therefore, a penalty of ₹1.5 crore was imposed and two months deadline was set for remedial measures.
The authority held that despite being penalized then, the managing director executed another agreement in 2020 without registering the project.
During the proceedings, the respondent’s counsel had stated that the May 2019 order was under challenge before the RERA Tribunal and therefore, the same dispute can’t be adjudicated before RERA. However, the authority did not find any substance in the contentions as there was no stay order, and directed the RERA secretary to initiate proceedings as per law.
Over 2,500 investors affected by group’s delays
The group head is already in the thick of controversy over multiple delayed projects, and a fresh FIR was registered on September 24 against the firm’s management following a complaint by several allottees.
The complainants alleged that the GBP Group promised them possession of various commercial and residential properties in 2016, but even after five years, there had been no progress. Some FIRs already stand registered against the promoter, who police say is on the run.
The realty firm has several ongoing projects in Mohali, with estimated affected investors over 2,500.
Among them, Camelia, comprising residential and commercial units, in Kharar, and GBP Centrum (commercial) in Zirakpur have been under construction since 2016.
Athens (residential and commercial) and Aeroze (residential), both on the Airport road, have not seen any construction for years, and construction has not even begun at a residential colony in New Chandigarh, though plots have been sold.