Home-buyers win ‘delay’ battle as SC takes builder to task

Published on May 10, 2017 12:21 PM IST
The victory for the home-buyers comes at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government is re-writing real estate rules to clean up the sector beset with problem of delay.
The order was passed on a petition by 12 home-buyers, who had booked flats in the project in 2006 and were promised possession within 36 months (2009).(HT Photo)
The order was passed on a petition by 12 home-buyers, who had booked flats in the project in 2006 and were promised possession within 36 months (2009).(HT Photo)
Lucknow, Hindustan Times | By, Lucknow

In a landmark order, the Supreme Court on Monday directed Parsvnath Planet in Vibhuti Khand, Gomti Nagar here to give possession of habitable flats in two-weeks and provide all assured amenities, along with occupancy certificate, in two months to the home-buyers, who had been fighting an over six-year battle with the developer on the delay issue.

The victory for the home-buyers comes at a time when the Uttar Pradesh government is re-writing real estate rules to clean up the sector beset with problem of delay.

The order was passed on a petition by 12 home-buyers, who had booked flats in the project in 2006 and were promised possession within 36 months (2009).

“We showed photographs of the towers, in which my clients had their flats, to the court. In the photographs it was clear that the flats were not in a habitable state. A court-appointed commission visited the project site and submitted its report after which the bench, headed by Justice Deepak Misra, passed the orders,” the petitioners’ lawyer Lahoty told HT.

The apex court has fixed July 31 for next hearing in the matter.

“We were the first to file a case against the builder in the consumer forum. We won the battle in 2011 when National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) imposed a heavy penalty on the developer for delay,” says Syed Ghufran Alvi, who spearheaded the campaign.

The NCDRC asked the builder to pay Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 per month as penalty, depending on the size of the flats, to the owners,” said Alvi.

The forum had also directed the builder to hand over the flats by 2015-end, failure of which forced the buyers to approach the SC.

The flats, at the time of booking, ranged between Rs 32 to 35 lakh. Circle rates have gone up manifold since 2009 when the registry should have been done. “Who will pay the enhanced stamp duty now,” asks Alvi, adding that the SC had taken note of this and other such issues and would decide on the next date.

Calls and text messages to Parsvanth Developer’s local office here remained unanswered. An official of the company, however, on condition of anonymity said that only three out of the total 10 towers in the housing project were incomplete. “We have already applied for the occupancy certificate for the remaining three and hope to get them soon,” he said.

With their row of skyscrapers forming an arch over the city’s skyline – Vishwas Khand and Vibhuti Khand are better known as the Manhattan of Lucknow.

But these imposing high-rise apartments, which paint a promising picture of development from outside, are replete with stories of ‘shattered dreams’ of many a home-buyer, lured by lofty claims of their developers.

Geetika Gupta, an interior designer too had a similar story to tell. She bought a flat in Parsvnath Royale. The unit was to be delivered in 2011. “My payment plan was construction linked and I made the payments as per schedule,” she said. But work (on the project) which was slow at the outset came to a stop in 2013. Geetika, however, was shocked when she received a letter from the developer on March 28, 2015 offering possession of her incomplete flat by offering not even half the amount against the left over work.

“Taken aback, I refused to take that incomplete flat and shot off a complaint to Union Minister of Urban Development Vekaiah Naidu against the developer,” she said.

I got a call from Parsvnath (AGM) Ajay Kashyap within a week. He not only assured quick completion but also assured to waive off the entire penalty (Rs 3.63 lakh) which they were trying to enforce illegally. He also assured that they would pay compensation against the delay. I just could not believe all this was happening. And the best part was to see them taking up flooring job of my unit, which now they have almost completed in last few days, she said.

Read more: Real estate regulator still a distant dream in Uttar Pradesh

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR

    M Tariq Khan is a Special Correspondent with Hindustan Times political bureau in Lucknow. He has spent over a decade doing development and investigative journalism. Apart from covering political parties and various departments of Uttar Pradesh Government, he also writes on minorities politics and has a flair for offbeat stories.

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