Homebuyers Approach The Supreme Court For Delay In Refund And Possession In Manesar's Case [Read Order]
The Supreme Court in Civil Appeal No. 8788 of 2015 vide judgement dated 12.03.2018 has quashed the release of land and licenses granted in favor of the builders in Manesar, Gurugram. DLF, ABW, Anantraj were some of the builders who were building apartments after grant of licence over the released land. The State of Haryana had notified the land for acquisition for development of the same by state instrumentalities namely HUDA & HSIIDC. Since the release of land and licenses were quashed, a direction was passed for refund of monies deposited by the homebuyers or allotment of plot or apartment after verification of claims. The challenge initially was raised by the landowners to the release of land but the Supreme Court instead of restoring the land to the landowners ordered the restoration of land to HUDA or HUDA for whom the land was notified for acquisition. Explaining the concept of unjust enrichment, the Supreme Court did not hold the landowners pari delicto along with builders. It was held that the principles of restitution and concept of unjust enrichment as explained in cases referred to hereinabove show that no person who directly or indirectly was a party to the fraud of power be allowed to reap or retain any unjust enrichment. Though, it is through the acts on part of the landholders that the builders/private entities were brought on the scene, we don't hold them to be pari delicto along with builders/private respondents.
At the same time, in order to secure the interest of the homebuyers, a time bound direction was passed by the Supreme Court by stating that in order to facilitate such exercise all third parties who had purchased or had been allotted the plots or apartments shall prefer claims within one month from the date of judgment, and the claims had to verified within two months of the judgment. The Supreme Court also said that the third parties from whom money had been collected by the builder/private entities will either be entitled to refund of the amount from and out of and to the extent of the amount payable to the builder/private entities in terms of above direction, available with the State, on their claims being verified or will be allotted the plots or apartments at the agreed price or prevalent price, whichever is higher. In cases where, constructions have been erected and the entire project is complete or is nearing completion, upon acceptance of the claim, the plots or apartments shall be made over to the respective claimants on the same terms and conditions. Except for such verified and accepted claims, the remaining area or apartments will be completely at the disposal of HUDA or HSIDC, as the case may be, which shall be free and competent to dispose of the same in accordance with the prevalent policy and procedure.
But despite aforesaid clear direction the State of Haryana & HSIIDC failed to come to the rescue of the homebuyers by making a time bound compliance of the judgment passed by the Supreme Court. The Homebuyers approached the Supreme Court for intervention in Rameshwar's (Manesar) case through Mr. Siddharth Batra, Advocate-On-Record, wherein the Supreme Court allowed them to be impleaded in the matter vide order dated 18.12.2019. Vide order dated 10.01.2020, the Supreme Court further asked HSIIDC & State of Haryana to deal with applications filed by the Homebuyers asking for interest on delay, possession and compensation and fixed the applications for 11.02.2020 for further hearing. The homebuyers have been waiting with a baited breath for the land since last twenty months after the passing of the judgment by the Supreme Court for refund of money and possession.
The plea of the homebuyers is that despite clear directions by the Hon'ble Supreme Court, the HSIIDC, State of Haryana & the Builders have failed to refund the monies deposited and give any date for possession for homebuyers seeking possession. The homebuyers have been made to further suffer on account of the delay on the part of HSIIDC & State of Haryana to comply with the judgment dated 12.03.2018 passed by the Supreme Court. The homebuyers in the application for directions have not only prayed for interest on delay caused but for damages as well.
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