Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has issued a show cause notice to directors of Avarsekar Realty Pvt Ltd as to why action under provisions of Contempt of Courts Act should not be initiated against them for wilful disobedience of court orders.
A division bench of Justices KR Shriram and Firdosh Pooniwalla, on June 15, also directed the directors, Bimal Mitra and Shalini Arora, to remain present in court on July 13, the next date of hearing. The developer has been asked to provide a photocopy of annual returns,profit andloss account and balance sheet filed for the last five assessment years starting 2018-19.
Court irked over suppressing of names
The court was irked by the fact that apart from suppressing the names of all the directors, the developer, despite attachment, had sold two flats in its Mahim project.
The HC had issued the notices while hearing a civil contempt petition filed by Ashok Paranjpe, a senior solicitor with law firm MDP &Partners, and his wife who had booked a flat in the project.
The HC, on April 24, had restrained the developer from selling any unsold flats in its proposed 42-storey tower Shristi Sea View till further orders. The HC had then issued a show cause notice to its director, Arindam Mukherjee, and asked him to remain personally present in court. The court had also prima facie found the collector and the developer’s authorised signatory, Chandan Singh, guilty of contempt.
The court was earlier informed by the developer’s advocate that only Mukherjee was the director, based on which the court issued showcause notice to him.
3 directors of company
During the hearing on June 15, Mukherjee’s advocate Ashish Kamat informed the HC that he was only a non-executive director. Kamat tendered an extract of the Company Master Data taken on June 10, 2023, which indicated that there were three directors: Mitra, Arora and Mukherjee.
“This indicates that counsel for Respondent No 4 (developer) made an incorrect statement to the court on instructions from Chandan Singh (authorised signatory),” the court noted in its order.
Seeking a clarification from the developer’s advocate who appeared on April 24, the HC said: “Therefore, counsel who appeared on 24th April 2023 Ms Pooja Gaikwad for Respondent No 4 shall file an affidavit within two weeks to explain on whose instructions she made a statement to the court, which prima facie appears to be a false statement, that only Arindam Mukherjee was director of Respondent No 4 and the names of Bimal Mitra Kumar and Shalini Arora were suppressed.”
HC directs RERA authorities to cooperate with the collector
State’s advocate Jyoti Chavan informed the court that it has “effectively purged the contempt” (to clear an individual of contempt of court). Chavan said that despite attachment, Chandan Singh has sold two flats. She said that an FIR was registered against him on May 9, 2023.
On a grievance raised by Chavan, the HC has directed RERA authorities to cooperate with the collector and provide required details.
The Paranjpes booked a flat in Shristi Sea View in January 2012. They got a favourable order from MahaRERA in February 2020 after the developer failed to complete the project and give possession of the flat. MahaRERA had asked the developer to pay, within 30 days, interest at the rate of 10.35% per year on over Rs2.5 crore, from February 1, 2015, till handing over possession of the flat. The developer lost the appeal before the RERA appellate tribunal.
In 2021, the Paranjpes approached the HC alleging collector’s inaction and urged the court to direct the collector to attach and auction the developer’s property in the project to recover the interest amount.
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