In a recent court ruling, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) – from RERA ACT, has ordered Anil T. Kursija, the proprietor of Shri Balaji Associates, to pay compensation to Hema Gurumukh Thakker for the delayed possession of a flat. The case was heard by Hon’ble Shri Madhav Kulkarni, the Adjudicating Officer of MahaRERA.
According to the complaint, Thakker had booked Flat No. 2101 in the Trinity Height project at Ovala, Ghodbunder Road, Thane on 27th August 2015, for a price of Rs.34.50 lakhs. The possession of the flat was promised by 31st December 2015. However, the respondent failed to deliver the possession as agreed, leading Thakker to seek compensation.
After several hearings and delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the case was finally taken up by the Adjudicating Officeras per the RERA Act. Kursija, the respondent, claimed that Thakker was only an investor and not an allottee, and that the possession date was 31st February 2022. He argued that the complaint should be dismissed.
RERA ACT case provisions
After considering the arguments and examining the provisions of the Real Estate Regulations and Development Act (RERA Act), the Adjudicating Officer made the following findings:
Thakker is an allottee, and Kursija is the promoter.
Kursija failed to deliver possession as per the agreement without any circumstances beyond his control.
Thakker is entitled to the reliefs claimed.
Based on these findings, the Adjudicating Officer ordered Kursija to pay compensation to Thakker. The compensation amount includes the refund of the entire investment of Rs.34.50 lakhs, along with interest at the rate of 10.40% per annum. Thakker is also awarded an additional amount of Rs.5,00,000 for mental distress and Rs.50,000 towards the costs of the complaint.
The ruling is based on the provisions of RERA, which establishes the jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Officer to adjudicate compensation claims. The officer has the power to summon witnesses and documents and can direct the payment of compensation or interest for non-compliance with the provisions of the Act.
The court ruling is in line with previous judgments by the Bombay High Court, which has upheld the jurisdiction of the Adjudicating Officer to grant compensation to aggrieved parties. The High Court has emphasized that the authority granting registration under RERA and the Adjudicating Officer have distinct roles and cannot encroach on each other’s jurisdiction.
RERA ACT ruling synopsis
This ruling serves as a reminder to real estate promoters to fulfill their obligations and deliver possession of properties within the agreed timeframe. Failure to do so can result in significant financial liabilities in the form of compensation to the aggrieved buyers.
The case was taken up by the Illustrious RERA Advocate Shri Rajeshwar Deshmukh of RERA Complaints Complaint Cell & The Consumers Guidance Society Cell and RERA Complaints Cell, Mumbai.
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