Wadhwas to refund homebuyer Rs 1.9 cr

MAHARera orders Wadhwa Realty to refund homebuyer after developer fails to give possession on time.

MAHARera allows buyer to withdraw from GHatkopar project and awards him a compensation of Rs. 2 Lakh; Wadhwa Residency Pvt Ltd appeal against order.

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed Wadhwa Residency Pvt Ltd to refund a home buyer Rs 1.9 crore with interest for failing to give possession of a flat on time and to also pay a compensation of Rs 2 lakh for misrepresentation.

Ketan Kataria had booked flat no P-3-1906 in Promenade-3, part of a large project titled The Address in Ghatkopar West and had received an allotment letter dated January 22, 2015. When the developer could not deliver possession as promised by March 31, 2017, he approached MahaRERA seeking reliefs under Section 12 and Section 18 of RERA.

The complainant alleged that the developer had failed to register an agreement for sale even after he paid a sum of Rs 1.80 crore plus stamp duty. Additionally, he was allegedly promised amenities like a clubhouse, among others which would be shared by residents of other projects including Panorama, Vista, Boulevard and Promenade. But Kataria alleged that he later learnt that it was meant for the exclusive use of Boulevard residents only.

The complaint also alleged that he was promised a carpet area of 627 sq ft, but the actual area of the flat he was getting was 602 sq ft.

Denying the allegations, Wadhwa’s advocate Sanjay Gaonkar claimed that Kataria had filed a false complaint and argued that no agreement for sale has been executed and that the complaint is thus not tenable. He further pointed out that the developer had even paid the pre-EMIs for 24 months as agreed for the subvention scheme financed by L&T Housing Finance which disbursed a loan of Rs 1.40 crore to Kataria.

Gaonkar also claimed that the possession deadline of March 31, 2017, was revised to December 31, 2018, when the project was registered with MahaRERA, and that the developer has duly completed the project before time and obtained the occupancy certificate on June 29, 2018. Advocate Gaonkar claimed Kataria was repeatedly asked to execute the agreement for sale, but he had failed to do so.

Observing that the only defence put forth by the developer for not delivering possession by March 2017 was that no formal agreement for sale had been executed between the parties, Kulkarni then ruled that the developer had failed to deliver possession as per originally agreed terms.

Stating that the developer had not challenged Kataria’s contention that he was being deprived of the use of clubhouse, Kulkarni held that the developer had made a false representation regarding its use and the possession date.

Kataria’s allegation that his carpet area was changed was, however, rejected.

Holding that the developer had committed a breach of obligations under Section 12 and 18 of RERA, Kulkarni allowed Kataria to withdraw from the project and awarded a refund on the actual amount paid by him.

When contacted, Wadhwa Group spokesperson said, “We will challenge this order before the RERA Appellate Tribunal.”

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