Multiple Proceedings On Same Issue Not Permissible Under RERA 2016; Maharashtra RERA Dismisses Complaint Seeking Refund For Delayed Possession [Read Order]

Multiple Proceedings On Same Issue Not Permissible Under RERA 2016; Maharashtra RERA Dismisses Complaint Seeking Refund For Delayed Possession [Read Order]

In an important ruling, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has held that multiple proceedings on the same issue cannot be allowed under the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act 2016. MahaRERA dismissed the complaint seeking a refund along with interest at the rate of 24% per annum for the delayed possession in respect of booking of a flat in Rare Township’s project called 'Rising City- Atlanta Heights' of Ghatkopar.

Dr. Vijay Satbir Singh, Member I, MahaRERA, gave both the parties a patient hearing and granted sufficient time to settle the matter amicably. However, in spite of several meetings, both parties could not agree on mutually agreeable terms. Hence, the final hearing took place on November 11, 2018 and after hearing arguments and submissions from both parties, the authority granted them liberty to file written submissions.

Advocate Koulgekar appeared on behalf of the complainant and Sonam Mhatre of DV Associates appeared for the respondent.

The complainant’s argument was that he had booked the said flat in Ghatkopar for Rs.1.33 crores (approx.) and was assured by the respondent that work on the project will start by August 31, 2011 and it will be completed within 36 months. But the respondent failed to complete the project on time, he also did not register the agreement.

It was argued on behalf of the respondent that the complainant is not an allottee as defined under the RERA 2016, therefore cannot seek relief under Sections 12 and 18 of the Act. It was further argued that due to change in Development Control Regulation in 2012, the layout of the building changed. As a result, the flat owned by complainant, which was initially supposed have a carpet area of 1089 sqft, got a reduced carpet area. Although, the complainant was offered to take a refund along with 14% interest which he refused and chose to remain in the project, Sequeira said.

Further, complainant was then offered two flats in lieu of his earlier booking and the amount paid was adjusted in their price. A provisional letter of allotment for the two flats was issued to the complainant in September 2014. However, in November 2014, the complainant was called upon to pay stamp duty, registration charges and VAT which he failed to pay. Moreover, the complainant is a member of the Rising City Ghatkopar Association (association of allottees of the project) which had already filed a complaint with MahaRERA and the Chairman had passed an order dated July 10, 2018 directing the respondent to execute the registered agreement for sale with members of the association. Thus, the present complaint should be dismissed, Sequeira argued.

The authority concluded-

“The record shows thot the complainant was also one of the members of the said Association. The said fact has not been denied by the complainant. The said complaint was filed with the MahaRERA by 'the allottees seeking directions from MahaRERA to allow cancellation of the flat bookings by the allottees who want to do so without cancellation fees and direct the respondent to refund the amount paid by the allottees along with interest and compensation. In the said complaint, after hearing arguments of both sides, the MahaRERA has already given verdict directing the respondent promoter to execute the registered agreements for sale with the members of the Rising City Ghatkopar Association. Since the complainant is also a party to the said proceeding, he cannot separately agitate this complaint before the MahaRERA, as it will amount to multiple proceedings on the same issue, which is not permissible in RERA Act 2016.”   

Thus, the said complaint was dismissed.

Read the Order Here