Bombay High Court penalises Mumbai developer Rs 10 lakh for a period of 10 days
The Bombay High Court has ordered developer RNA Universal to pay a penalty of Rs. 10 lakh for a period of 10 days between October 1and 10 if it fails to hand over the flats in the 20-storey tower housing 85 flats in Kandivali (W) to the buyers by September 30.
A complaint was filed by a flat buyer of project RNA Grande, Vikram Harlalka who said he was promised possession in 2012, but the builder pushed back the deadline to February this year, and again to June. Meanwhile, Harlalka had filed a commercial suit in the high court in 2016, saying the builder be held accountable. The project, RNA Grande, is being constructed by RNA Universal, owned by Anubhav Agarwal. The project was launched in 2010 and has two wings of 3 BHK flats, each costing Rs 1.75 crore.
Justice KR Shriram of the Bombay High Court, in an order passed on September 4, directed the firm to deposit a penalty of Rs 10 lakh for a period of 10 days between October 1and 10 with the Registry of the court in case it failed to complete the project by September 30. If the builder fails to hand over possession of the flats by October 10, he’ll have to deposit a further Rs 10 lakh for 10 days between October 11and 20.
The court rules that the money will be deposited in a nationalised bank and given to the residents on forming a society. On behalf of RNA Universal, advocate Chirag Balsara assured the court that the project will be completed by the month end as per the directives issued by the court-appointed architect M/s Shetgiri and Associates. On the court seeking concrete assurances regarding the deadline, RNA submitted an undertaking that it will not seek further extension.
The litigant, Harlalka, who works for a multinational conglomerate, said he waited four years for the apartment booked in 2010 and promised in 2012. “After 2010, construction was stopped for five years, and I had to take a house on rent. Realising the project was nowhere near completion; I moved the court last year. I hope the builder keeps his promise this time around,” he said.
Agarwal insisted there was no intention to keep the buyers waiting, and that the project was hampered by demonetisation, introduction of GST, and RERA registration. “I admit there has been a delay. Then we had demonetisation, followed by GST and RERA, which affected the project. The work is 97% complete and it is a matter of 15-20 days before we hand over the flats.”
He said the court had asked for guarantees when he sought another deadline extension. “We ourselves offered to pay Rs 1 lakh a day. But I know it won’t come to that. I am confident we will complete the project,” Agarwal said.