Panel asks municipal commissioner to explain delay in issuing OC to Mhada scheme


Maharashtra State Consumer Commission, consisting of retired justices AP Bhangale and AZ Khwaja, has summoned municipal commissioner Tukaram Mundhe to explain the inordinate delay in granting ‘occupancy certificate’ to Maharashtra Housing and Area Development Authority’s (Mhada) housing scheme on Subhash Road.

The order was issued following a complaint filed by Surendranath Mishra, one of the flat owners.

Mishra approached the commission, Nagpur, under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, seeking Rs42 lakh compensation from Mhada for ‘delay in delivery of possession’ and ‘deficiency in service’. Lawyer Tushar Mandlekar appeared for Mishra while lawyer Hitesh Varma represented Mhada.

According to the complaint, Mhada constructed 320 flats in Mhada City and failed to deliver possession and sale deed even after 10 years of booking and hence, committed an ‘unfair trade practice’ and ‘deficiency in service’. The inexplicable 10-year delay in giving possession resulted in great financial loss to each allottee.

The complaint stated that Mhada and its contractor M/S IVRCL failed to give possession and sale deed of flats in stipulated two years and instead, extended the period of three years without clarifying the reasons thereof. The scheme started in 2010 and ought to have been completed in 2012, but construction is on and the project is incomplete even till today.

Mishra alleged that Mhada failed to procure mandatory occupancy certificate, building completion certificate, environment clearance, and no-objection certificate from the fire department and other statutory permissions.

It was also alleged that Mhada failed to give promised amenities like podium garden, internal roads, shopping centre, club house, swimming pool etc. even after accepting the entire cost of the flat. Mhada has already collected Rs120 crore from home buyers and failed to construct the facilities promised, the complainant alleged.

The complainant sought a compensation of Rs42 lakh which includes interest at the rate of 16% per annum on his payment of consideration, apart from Rs5 lakh for mental harassment.

Executive engineer of Mhada, Deepti Kale, was personally present in the court and explained that despite submission of completion certificate by the architect in 2013, the municipal commissioner delayed the grant of occupancy certificate till September 2019 for reasons best known to him.

The commission then immediately directed the municipal commissioner to depute an official and submit the report stating facts and reasons due to which the ‘delay in granting occupancy certificate’ was caused.

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