Panchkula: Partners locked in dispute, investors pay a heavy price

Started in 2009, this project in Sector 30, Panchkula, was supposed to be completed in 2012; not much progress made, MD says first phase to be ready by Dec 2017

Written by Srishti Choudhary | Panchkula | Updated: August 4, 2016 3:45 pm
Punjab News, M/s Bhoomi Infrastructure Co, Panchkula, Half complete projects, Punjab Half complete projects, India news, latest news Under-construction Amazon project in Sector 30, Panchkula . Hardik Abrol

OVER 60 months after allotment of flats began in the prized project of M/s Bhoomi Infrastructure Co. in Sector 30, allottees who had booked the flats still await possession, as uncertainty looms large over the project which is delayed and continues to be mired in legal battles due to alleged dispute between the partners.

An integrated real estate group housing project — Amazon – The Defence Country — is being set up in Sector 30, Panchkula, on land measuring 16.812 acres by registered partnership firm M/s Bhoomi Infrastructure Co (currently called Global Land Masters Corporation Limited), whose partners comprised Lt Col (retd) S S Deswal and eight others, who are mostly from Mumbai.

The firm was started by eight partners, including Lt Col (Retd) S S Deswal in 2006, but in a span of five years, there was a dispute between the partners. In June 2011, five partners retired from the firm and the partnership deed was reconstituted. In November 2013, another partner, Virender Gandhi, retired and only two partners were left — S S Deswal and his son Abhimanyu Deswal, who was then freshly inducted.

Virender Gandhi and a few others are now crying foul alleging that they were duped by Deswal. Virender Gandhi even lodged a complaint in the Chief Minister’s Window, a platform launched by the Haryana government to redress public grievances, but did not get any response.

Virender Gandhi, who was the last partner to exit, alleged that he was to be compensated for an amount of Rs 17.31 crore and the lump sum dues of Rs 20.30 crore, but he has not received it yet. A police complaint alleging cheating and fraud against managing director Deswal was filed too. However, the police brushed it aside terming it a “civil dispute”.

Investors started making bookings in the project in 2009 with an assurance that the project would be completed within three years. The flats buyers agreement, which should have been immediately signed after booking of flats, was allegedly delayed and signed in March 2012.

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“We paid the first instalment in 2010, but the flat buyers agreement was not signed until 2012. We were shocked that they had changed the date of possession to three years from 2012, with an extension of 12 months, ie March, 2016,” stated Deepak Prashar, a resident of Sector 12, who awaits refund of Rs 9.21 lakh and Rs 1-lakh compensation that the developers were ordered to give after they were found guilty of deficiency in service by the consumer court.

The construction started in 2012, but was stopped in October on account of the dispute between the partners. After no construction for over two years, the work resumed in March 2014 and has not been completed as yet.

“The developers said that all management-related issues were resolved and the new construction company will assist in completing the project as per the revised schedule. But the project is far from completion,” complained another allottee, who has sought a refund of his hard-earned money.

On Virender Gandhi’s complaint, Panchkula Deputy Commissioner of Police Anil Dhawan said, “We did receive a complaint against developer S S Deswal. However, it was a civil dispute between the partners, thus no action was taken.”

The complaint also highlights how Deswal had allegedly agreed to pay the amount vide issuance of 74 (64+10) post-dated cheques. Honouring of the said cheques was further secured by allurement of area/flats within the licensed land against which flat buyer agreements were also executed.

Virender Gandhi alleged that Deswal had given him 74 post-dated cheques in lieu of his dues. However, all those cheques were dishonoured by the banks. “The cheques given by them [S S Deswal and others] against my legal dues were dishonoured and returned by the banks. I have filed complaints in various courts and adjudication is pending. Now I am running from one court to another seeking justice.”

With the dispute between the partners raging on, the project has already entered a difficult stage. A large number of investors from Panchkula, Mohali, Bhiwani and other parts of the region who booked flats had filed cases in consumer courts seeking cancellation of booking and refund of their money. Eight such cases were decided by the Panchkula Consumer Forum this year and nine cases were decided last year. A few investors have got their money back.

However, managing director Deswal denies allegations. “There were some management issues with partners from Mumbai due to which the project got affected and was delayed. But we communicated it to the allottees. The issue has been resolved and we will complete the first phase of the project by December 2017,” he told Chandigarh Newsline.

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