Bombay HC asks developer to pay Rs 19 crore to hear appeal for delayed flat possession

Urvi MahajaniUpdated: Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 10:35 AM IST
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Bombay HC asks developer to pay Rs 19 crore to hear appeal for delayed flat possession | FPJ

In a dispute related to delay of flat possessions pertaining to a Borivali project, the Bombay High Court has asked the developer to follow the order passed by the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) for entertaining its appeal of quashing the tribunal’s orders.

The MREAT had directed the developer, CCI Projects Private Ltd, to deposit 100 per cent amount, which includes 9 per cent interest, penalty and litigation costs.

Now, the HC has asked CCI Projects to abide by the order and deposit Rs 19,37,92,720 within five months. The case started with 173 purchasers, who bought flats in project ‘Wintergreen’, filing complaints before the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA), alleging delay in handing over possession hence claiming interest for the same.

By common orders, the MahaRERA directed the petitioner to pay 9 per cent interest to said flat purchasers and Rs 20,000 towards their complaints.

However, CCI Projects challenged this before the MREAT, which in 53 different orders passed on December 15 of 2021, March 4 and April 19, directed the developer to deposit 100 per cent of the amount as a pre-condition for entertaining its appeal challenging the MahaRERA orders.

The developer was directed to deposit a total of Rs 19,37,92,720, including Rs 18,17,32,720 towards interest, Rs 1,10,00,000 penalty and Rs 10,60,000 costs.

Subsequently, CCI Projects filed three petitions before the HC seeking quashing of these 53 orders. Counsels for the developer, Vineet Naik, Mayur Khandeparkar and Chirag Kamdar, argued that MREAT, under the Real Estate Act, has discretion regarding the deposit of the amount which can be as less as 30 per cent of the total amount.

However, CCI Projects was directed to deposit the entire amount without giving any reasons. The CCI further contended that the project has been completed and possession of flats is already handed over to purchasers. It averred that the order should be dismissed because it was primarily awarded for compensating delay.

Counsel for the flat purchasers, Vinodini Srinivasan and Avinash Pawar, argued that the petitions are not maintainable as the developer has also filed review petitions before the appellate tribunal.CCI had contended that there are a total of 173 complaints filed by flat purchasers, out of which about 69 are settled and 83 are pending for hearing.

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