In perhaps the biggest payout under the Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Act (Rera) so far, the state housing regulator on Friday ordered developer Runwal Homes to pay back Rs 1.94 crore with interest to a flat buyer.
The complainants, Avinash Saraf and Neha Duggar Saraf, approached the regulator after the developer did not hand over possession as stipulated in the sale agreement. They had paid Rs 1.74 crore between October 2014 and January 2017, to book a flat in Runwal Greens project in Mulund (West). They said the flat was to be given to them on or before August 2016 as stipulated in the sale agreement. But the developer failed to do so.
The order passed by state RERA member B D Kapadnis said the developer will pay Rs 1.94 crore with interest at SBI’s highest marginal cost of lending rate plus 2% from May 1, 2017, till the payment.
A Runwal Homes spokesperson said, “We would like to clarify Rera has not levied any penalty on us. The order says Runwal Group pay interest amount for the delay in giving possession to a buyer. We will challenge this order in the Bombay High Court.”
The complainants said they paid 97% of total consideration of the flat. They further contended that under subvention scheme promoted by the developer, Runwal paid interest up to August 2016 under the tripartite agreement. Thereafter the bank recovered the installments with interest from the complainants. The Sarafs demanded the amount of consideration with 21% interest as compensation.
The builder said the project was at an advanced stage and showed its willingness to offer the flat to the complainants for interior works by December 2017. Runwal also maintained since the sale agreement was executed in 2014, the state Rera did not have jurisdiction as the Act came into effect only in May 2017.
Runwal also said the delay was beyond its control because the authorities did not grant approvals and sanctions on time. “These reasons were beyond our control,” it said.
“When the complainants showed their willingness to cancel the booking, the respondent (Runwal) offered to refund amounts received, by its e-mail dated 1.03.2017. But the complainants insisted the developer pay interest at the rate of 21% and therefore, the matter could not be resolved,” said the order.
“The complainants are entitled to get consideration amount of Rs 1,74,17,986, Rs 8,86,800 as stamp duty and registration charges and Rs 11,00,000, which is the amount of interest paid by complainants to bank during 30.09.2016 to 31.07.2017 with interest,” said the order.