MahaRERA in a recent order directed Conoor Builders to pay the owner of a flat in its Gateway project at Andheri west interest at marginal cost lending rate of SBI plus 2% for a nearly three-year delay in possession. The flat buyer’s lawyers pegged the amount at around Rs 60 lakh.
MahaRERA member, Vijay Satbir Singh, in his order has also stated the builder cannot shift its statutory liability to the land owner as there is no privity of contract between the complainant and the land owner since it is not party to the registered sale agreement executed between the complainant and the respondent.
Sushant Karkera booked a flat valued at approximately Rs 2 crore in 2014. The builder was liable to hand over possession on or before December 31, 2016. However, the complainant, through his representative chartered accountant Ashwin Shah and advocate Sandeep Manubarwala, stated the builder, without giving any intimation, extended the project completion date to December 2019, which was further extended till December 2020 while registering the project with MahaRERA.
Respondent Conoor Builders, represented by advocates Anil D’Souza and Saroj Agarwal, pointed out the project got delayed due to genuine and unavoidable difficulties attributable to land owner, AH Construction. The respondent also stated the complainant was aware that AH Construction was owner as well as promoter-owner of the property as the sale agreement clearly mentioned AH Construction has all obligations to procure requisite permissions for the said building.
However, the complainant contended he had no privity of contract with AH Construction and that he had paid money for the flat to the respondent. The complainant also relied upon earlier SC judgments in case of Vaidehi Akash Housing Pvt Ltd and Goregaon Pearl CHS and stated the owner is not liable to pay interest for delay in possession.
MahaRERA member Singh’s order also stated the complainant was no way concerned with the dispute between the land owner and the respondent.
The order stated if the project was getting delayed, then the respondent should have informed the complainant and should have revised the date of possession in the agreement by executing a rectification deed or should have offered a refund.