In case of the New Cuffe Parade project at Wadala, four of the towers were granted part OC for ground to 40th floor by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on June 8, 2017, a month before the RERA came into being.
The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has held that it will have jurisdiction over the ‘New Cuffe Parade’ project by the Lodha Group even though parts of the project have received a part occupancy certificate (OC). Setting a precedent for future disputes over part OC, the authority observed last week that it was ‘anomalous to hold that some part of the building is covered by the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA) jurisdiction and other part is exempted’.
In case of the New Cuffe Parade project at Wadala, four of the towers were granted part OC for ground to 40th floor by the Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority on June 8, 2017, a month before the RERA came into being. These flats were, therefore, exempt from being registered with MahaRERA. According to Section 3(2) of the Act, a project is exempt from registration if the promoter has received completion certificate for the project prior to the commencement of the Act.
However, while hearing a case filed by a homebuyer seeking compensation on his investment in a flat in the New Cuffe Parade project, MahaRERA member B D Kapadnis held that a part OC implies that the project was incomplete.
“The part occupancy certificate impliedly demonstrates that the building/project is not completed. It is issued on the basis of part completion certificate given by the private architect, that too on the indemnity of the owner/constructor. Hence, it indicates that the project is not completed as per the sanctioned building plan, layout plan and their specifications. Section 3 (2) of RERA Act exempts the phase/part of the project/building from its registration. However, I find that the other requirements of RERA can be complied with only on completion of the entire project such as handing over the amenities to the society of the allottees, execution of their conveyance in favour of the society etc,” read the interim order on the matter dated September 12.
When contacted, a spokesperson from Lodha Group said: “We intend to file an appeal against the order before the Appellate Authority.”
A homebuyer, who had bought a flat on the 13th floor of one of the four towers, had approached MahaRERA with a complaint that the respondents — Bellissimo Crown Buildmart Ltd, a Lodha Group company — did not show/provide him the copy of occupation certificate. He contended that he was unable to avail loan and pay the entire consideration amount before application of Goods and Services Tax in Maharashtra. He has sought refund of his investment amount of Rs 40 lakh with interest.
Bellissimo, on the other hand, had contended that as the flat in question was not registered with MahaRERA, the authority had no jurisdiction to entertain the complaint.
In the interim order, Kapadnis said the homebuyer’s complaint was maintainable and rejected Bellissimo’s application for dismissing the complaint.
Earlier, a group of 23 customers, who have bought flats at the New Cuffe Parade, filed a writ petition with the Bombay High Court seeking that the ground to 40th floor of the four towers by Lodha Group be brought under the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act (RERA).