New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday quashed the sale of flats to three housing societies in Powai, Mumbai, in 2003 by the Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Board, ignoring the offer of another society wanting to buy 10 flats for Rs 17 crores. The societies whose allocation has been quashed are Shree Amey Coop Housing Society, Shri Guru Krupa Coop Housing Society and Shri Sai Shraddha Coop Housing Society.
Issuing a writ of certiorari to quash the sales, the Bench of Justices Abhay Manohar Sapre and S Abdul Nazeer allowed the appeal of the Powai Panchsheel Cooperative Housing Society against the board for not considering its offer at all and dismissed the Bombay High Court’s verdict in March 2008.
It struck down the board’s resolution on 10/14.05.2003 as “unreasonable, arbitrary and violative of principles” for not considering the Powai Panchsheel society’s offer given on 03.03.2003 which ought to have been considered on merit with the offers of the three other societies.
“There was no valid reason for the Board to exclude the appellant’s offer from the zone of consideration,” the Court said while directing the board to proceed in the matter in accordance with law. The 22-page judgment penned by Justice Sapre discusses at length how the issue developed, starting with the advertisement issued on 26.06.1995 for sale of 1924 flats, including 251 deluxe one, at Rs 2,995 per square feet.
However, only 123 flats could be sold and 1597 could be sold after issue of seven other advertisements between 1995 and 1999. The board later reduce the price to Rs 2200 per sq feet to enable it to sell the remaining 327 flats, including 251 deluxe flats with an area of 893 sq feet each. Even then the board did not receive good response and it was then that the four societies made their offers in 2003.
The Court struck down the board”s resolution No 192 which considered only the offers of the three societies and eventually accepted their offers with some modifications.