MREAT orders Radius & Deserve Developers to refund buyer's money
MUMBAI: The Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal (MREAT) has set aside a MahaRERA order and directed a developer to refund Rs 9.23 lakh with interest from April 2016 to a homebuyer who booked a flat in a Chembur project. The tribunal, however, rejected the complainant’s demand for compensation.
Sunita Gunjal, who had booked flat no. 1302 in Tower 8 of Radius Anantya, had filed an appeal against a MahaRERA order of August 13, 2018, which had directed Radius and Deserve Developers LLP to refund her principal amount of Rs 9.23 lakh, but not with interest as the agreed possession date of December 2020 had not lapsed.
Gunjal said she had booked the flat after seeing advertisements offering purchasers furniture voucher worth Rs 1.5 lakh and assurance of rent at the rate of Rs 10,000 per month for 12 months after possession. She paid 20 per cent of the flat cost of Rs 46.17 lakh on April 16, 2016.
According to her complaint, in September 2017, the developer asked her to pay Rs 2.65 lakh as stamp duty and informed her that due to an increase in the carpet area from 221 sqft to 225 sqft, the flat price would increase by Rs 75,000. In January 2018, the developer shared the agreement for sale, which revised the possession date from December 2020 to December 2024, the complaint said. The complainant also mentioned the developer had agreed to refund her amount if she withdrew the legal notice she sent.
Her appeal argued that MahaRERA had failed to consider misrepresentation by the developer in changing the carpet area, price and possession date of December 2020.
Advocate Tahir Prande, appearing for the developer, argued that the complaint by Gunjal was premature as it was made before the possession date of December 2020.
Tribunal members SS Sandhu and Sumant Kolhe held that the developer had committed violations of Section 12 of RERA by not adhering to the date of possession and by making changes in the area and price of the flat contrary to the representations made at the time of booking.
Section 12 pertains to the obligations of the promoter regarding veracity of the advertisement or prospectus, and states that in case of violation, the purchaser is entitled to be returned his entire investment with due interest as well as compensation.
While setting aside the RERA order, the tribunal observed that the authority erroneously chose to observe that the appellant was not entitled for a refund with interest as the date of possession was not yet over even though the said date, December 2020, had become obsolete on being revised to December 2024 in the draft agreement for sale by the respondent. It, however, rejected Gunjal’s prayer for a compensation of Rs 10 lakh.
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