Supreme Court on Wednesday appointed a two-member lawyers’ panel to inspect the facilities at the flat of Minister of State Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in Parsvnath Developers’ Exotica project in Gurgaon, after he claimed it was “uninhabitable”. A bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy formed the lawyers’ committee after Rathore’s counsel complained that the flat, which the apex court had earlier directed the real estate firm to be handed over to him, was “uninhabitable”.
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The court directed the committee to submit its report in two weeks and look into the allegations made by the MoS for Information and Broadcasting. The counsel for Rathore said the flat which was allotted to him did not have access to common facilities of the project as was shown in the site map at the time of booking.
While the tower in which the flat is located had a ‘kachcha’ access road which opened into a slum cluster, there was no parking facility provided and the tower did not have an occupancy certificate, he said. The counsel for the builder said if Rathore had so much problems, he could take a refund, adding that the flat was in a good condition and work at the project site was going on. Rathore’s counsel said they did not want refund as they have contested for so long to get the flat and urged the court that another flat be given to him in the tower which has the occupancy certificate.
The court, however, said it cannot be done as Rathore had booked a flat of his own choice. “The members of the committee will go and inspect what is the shortest and longest route to common facilities which everyone is getting. It will also look into the allegations of parking facilities, kachcha road etc,” the bench said. The bench asked Rathore to first occupy the flat and get a roof for himself, after which it will look into the aspect of compensation.
The court appointed advocates Gaurav Aggarwal and Shankar Narayan as members of the committee, directing them to submit the report in two weeks and posted the matter for November 29. It also asked the parties to cooperate with the committee. Rathore had booked a flat in Parsvnath’s Exotica project in Gurgaon in 2006 and paid around Rs 70 lakh for it. The firm was to deliver the flat in 2008-09. In January this year, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had directed the builder to refund the principal amount with interest and compensation to Rathore.
The apex court had on October 21 directed Parsvnath Developers to hand over possession of a flat in its Gurgaon project to Rathore in two days saying he should not pay any more amount to the developer. The court had said the issue of compensation to be paid by the realty firm to Rathore for the delayed possession would be dealt with at a later stage of the hearing.
Earlier, the apex court had rapped real-estate firms for making tall claims to purchasers which remained unfulfilled due to inordinate delay in completing the housing projects. The court had on October 18 directed the SC registry to disburse Rs 12 crore, deposited by real estate firm Parsvnath Buildwell Pvt Ltd, to 70 home buyers on pro-rata basis after proper identification. It had also directed the firm to deposit Rs 10 crore by December 10 with Supreme Court registry.
The apex court’s observation had come after Parsvnath Buildwell Pvt Ltd had said it would give the flats to 70 home buyers, who are before the court, by December 17. The apex court had on September 15 directed the firm to deposit Rs 12 crore within four weeks as interest bearing short term deposit for delaying giving possession of flats to home buyers in its Ghaziabad project.
On August 26, the developer had told the court that they were in “serious financial difficulty” as they had suffered a loss of around Rs 400 crore last year. They had also said they would hand over possession of the flats in its delayed project at Ghaziabad within a year. The firm was asked by the apex consumer commission NCDRC in May to refund the principal amount in four weeks with 12 per cent interest, Rs 3 lakh as compensation and Rs 25,000 as litigation cost to 70 buyers who had booked flats in the Parsvnath Exotica project, Ghaziabad.
The court was also informed that 854 flats were to be constructed in the project and 818 buyers had made bookings. Parsvnath Developers Ltd had moved the apex court against the apex consumer commission’s order asking it to refund the money to 70 buyers along with interest.