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Homebuyers in Pune take MOFA route to justice

From 2 cases in 2015 to 23 cases in 2018,a total of 74 cases have been registered against builders under Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act

pune Updated: Feb 25, 2019 20:54 IST
H T Correspondent
H T Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,homebuyers,MOFA
RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said rising number of cases under MOFA is a pointer towards growing awareness of home buyers. (HT Photo)

The Maharashtra State government constituted the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (Maha-Rera) on May 1, 2017 to safeguard the interests of the flatbuyers and ever since then, the number of complaints on the builders for delayed handing over of properties has gone up from 2 cases in 2015 to 23 cases in 2018.

At least 74 cases have been registered by the police against builders under the Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act (MOFA) since 2015 and 80 per cent of the cases are related to delayed handing over of flats or to do with incomplete construction. These cases have been registered in eight police stations of Pune suburbs and have emerged as problem areas, according to the data released by Economic Offences Wing, where MOFA cases have been registered by aggrieved investors. The Pune police arrested a real estate developer Vishwajeet Jhavar on January 13 under the MOFA in connection with a cheating and forgery case. Jhavar, the chief executive officer, of Marvel Realtors, was arrested along with eight others, based on a compliant by a Dubai-based customer who alleged delay and wrongful representation of facts in the Marvel Kyra project in Hadapsar.

Dubai-based Mukesh Mansukhani in his complaint stated “I had invested ₹1.80 crore on a flat in Marvel Kyra Project. In May 2018, I found that two buildings were still under construction. The promised third tower was missing from the site as the realtor had changed the plan without my consent ”

Sunil Tambe, police inspector and in-charge of Hadapsar police station, said, “After the registration of Dubai-based Mukesh Mansukhani’s case at Hadapsar Police Station, two more complainants approached the same police station with respect to Marvel builders, though these were under the jurisdiction of Vimantal and Kondhwa police stations.Complainants were directed to the senior PIs of the concerned police stations and accordingly offences were registered at the respective stations. Later on few more complainants approached to CP Office. Pune Police Commissioner Venkatesham then directed all the complainants with respect to Marvel to Hadapsar Police Station. PI Shivaji Shinde and PSI U V Pune were deputed to compile the data of all complainants with respect to Marvel builders and under DCP Zone 5, Prakash Gaikwad, complainants and the builder were called in to the DCP’s office for face to face interactions to resolve the various issues. All the investors were guided properly and their complaints had been taken care of,” he said.

Jyotipriya Singh, deputy commissioner of police (Economics offences wing) said that investors approach the Economics offences wing only after several unsuccessful attempted with the builders. “We get tangible results based on the nature of the case. The reports are prepared within the stipulated time frame. Our endeavour is to help and assist the aggrieved investors,” shesaid. Singhpointedoutthat the problem persisted in the eight police station areas where construction activities are moving at a frenetic pace.

“The economics offences wing is striving to give them justice and get real time results by preparing water tight cases against the developers found cheating their investors,” she said.

RTI activist Vijay Kumbhar said rising number of cases under MOFA is a pointer towards growing awareness of home buyers. Investors have become aware of the consumer protection laws. “The real estate sector has to be regulated and made accountable to the citizens of the country. Though Rera act is far more stringent and effective when compared with MOFA, cases under the latter is on the rise ,” he said.

“Credai Pune has been in touch with Pune police to evaluate if Credai Pune metro can mediate with the services of our conciliatory forum constituted under Maha-Rera along with Mumbai Grahak Manch. This might lead to a solution in the pending cases. The Pune police are considering this option in a few of the cases,” Ranjeet Naiknavare, vice-president, Credai.

First Published: Feb 25, 2019 14:27 IST