The Bombay high court has sought a reply from Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) regarding a homebuyer’s plea that the housing regulator has not taken up her complaint for hearing for the last one and half years.
Homebuyer Geeta Bhavesh Bhanushali had filed a writ petition in the high court after her complaint was not taken up by MahaRERA for hearing.
Lodha and Lodha Advocates, appearing for the petitioner, contended that their client’s grievance was that MahaRERA had not scheduled a hearing of her complaint for the last one and half years.
A bench comprising Justices SV Gangapurwala and SG Dige directed assistant government pleader Uma Palsuledesai, who appeared for the state, to take instructions from MahaRERA and inform the court on the status of the petitioner’s complaint and cite the reasons why it has not been listed for hearing. The court scheduled the next hearing on December 12.
Bhanushali, her husband Bhavesh, and father-in-law Kalyanji Bhanushali are residents of flat no 903 in the B wing of Tirumala Habitat project in Mulund West. They had booked the flat in June 2011 by paying ₹1.12 crore including taxes. Though the agreement for sale promised possession on or before September 30, 2014, the possession was delivered only in September 2019 after a delay of five years, the complainant alleged.
The complainant also alleged that she was shocked when the family received the first property tax bill on November 16, 2019 from the Municipal Corporation it showed flat nos 903 and 904 approved as a single flat. She had approached MahaRERA with a complaint seeking interest on delayed possession and prayers for sub-division of the flat among other grievances.
Over 6000 complaints pending with MahaRERA
In a related development, social activist and advocate Godfrey Pimenta, who represents homebuyers before MahaRERA, wrote to chief minister Eknath Shinde that homebuyers of stalled projects were complaining that hearings before MahaRERA are “unduly” delayed, in some cases, for close to two years.
The letter said there were 38,750 ongoing real estate projects registered with MahaRERA and a total of 19,290 complaints filed with the regulator. Out of these,12,971 complaints were disposed of and 6,319 complaints were yet to be heard.
The letter submitted through Mumbai Suburban Collector Nidhi Choudhari to the CM pointed out that a recent JLL report had estimated that there were 99,000 stalled residential units in MMR, and delays in hearing cases pertaining to Section 7 and 8 of RERA which seek deregistration of a delinquent developer and appointment of a new developer further compound the misery of homebuyers.