August 29, 2020, The Liberacy:- Fraud Builders are always highlighted in the news, no matter how big the amount is involved, the greed always wins over pocket for them. But, what about the common population who struggles for a piece of Bread?
People work all their life in the hope of purchasing a house/flat where they can spend their retirement era peacefully, or middle-aged working population looks for a dream of flourishing a family. Little do they dream, there’s always a builder with an evil eye behind the happiness of these common population and lurking for their money.
We will be attaching the names and position of the concerned authorities (DM & Collector of Nashik) and elective authorities of Dindori LS Constituency & Niphad Legislative Constituency, to whom this article & a report will be circulated, and to the Media personals working in & around Nashik.
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A builder from Mumbai (whose name we chose not disclose) has done the same with his greed towards the people of Rural Nashik.
Ojhar, a small village, 25 km from Nashik City experienced the same when a builder in 2013 chose to start the construction of 14 flats, after purchasing the plot from Raghunath Jagannath Dhamat on 5th September 2012.
This builder from Mumbai took permission of constructing a 4 storey building in the rural Nashik area of Ojhar. The permission was granted by “Ojhar Grampalika.”
Sanjivaninagar, Ojhar. That goes by Pincode 422206 has a 4 storey building, whose construction was started in 2013. There are families living in the building who purchased the flats for about 15-22 lacs each. There are 14 flats in total.
The permission to start the construction was granted on 10th July 2013. There is also a building completion certificate issued on 30th June 2017.
But, what is the on-ground reality?
The building is still incomplete (as in August 2020) with no singular electricity connections to the consumers and with NO water supply.
Though the consumers have paid 55,000 to 60,000 for the same.
The big question is if the Building was incomplete then on what grounds a building completion certificate was issued?
This building still has No Electricity with proper wiring. There is one connection under the name of the builder, and the flat owners have to distribute the amount among themselves every month often leading to quarrels.
The wiring is often damaged that is connected to a meter locally attached without the authorization of the Electricity Board.
The electricity rates per Unit to the consumers of the building are still categorized under Commercial strata, which is higher than the deserved Residential rates.
In a counting made by the residents, the electricity bill accounts extra ₹1000 per month, per family. This condition has extracted around 25,000 in the last two years, but the builders are still in no hurry to work.
Consumers have paid around ₹40,000 to ₹50,000 for the electricity connections, excluding the purchase amount of the property, to the builder at the time of signing the agreement.
This condition comes under the violation of (Part VI)– Section 53, Section 55, (Part VII)– Section 61, and Section 62 of the Electricity Act 2003 which was notified to the State Governments with the establishment of the Appellant Tribunal for Electricity under Section 110 of the same Electricity act 2003.
This is also in violation of point 5 and 10 of the Commercial Circular (No. 224) issued by Maharashtra State Electricity Distribution Co. Ltd. on 5th July 2014 with Reference from Government of Maharashtra’s Gazette date 20th May 2014. [REF. PR-3 / TARIFF/21382]
This condition has made the common people give a loud laugh on centrally sponsored schemes such as Saubhagya, IPDS, DDUGJY, and UDAY.
Below is the Image of the Current Condition of Electricity Connection.
2. Water Supply.
No Water connection. The builder took around ₹20,000 to ₹10,000 from every flat owner, excluding the purchase amount of the property, for water connection. But has not provided it.
Imagine big flat owners filling water from society taps and carrying it to there homes.
This is in complete violation of all the points included in Central notification when they announced NRDWP, MNP, and National Water Mission.
There are no images to show here because there is NO WATER SUPPLY to the Building.
Figure 01 (Left) shows the permission taken for the Construction of the Building in 2013 and figure 02 (Right) shows the Building Completion Certificate issued by the Ojhar Grampanchayat Office in 2017.
Images Below are the current situation of the Construction works (as on 29th August 2020)
From the stairs to the parking lots, nothing has been constructed.
The BIG QUESTION stands, that how a Building Completion Certificate was issued in 2017 when the construction work is incomplete in 2020 and there is No Electricity and Water connection?
The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 is the Act which seeks to provide for better protection of the interests of consumer is an option in which, District Forums are established in each District and have jurisdiction to entertain complaints where the value of goods or services and the compensation, if any, claimed does not exceed Rs.20, 00, 00 (Twenty Lakhs). This is the average value of all the 14 flats.
It is so believable that even after the 2016 Real Estate Regulatory Authority Act [RERA act 2016] all these frauds are happening without fear.
The encouragement of builders to commit such crimes is because common people always choose not to go to the courts and this often makes them a loser financially.
Recent Supreme Court Judgement regarding the frauds by the Builders.
In a recent landmark judgment, the Supreme Court has held that when the possession of the property is not handed over to the allottee in time it amounts to the denial of service and the allottee, who has been affected by the delay in delivery of possession is entitled to compensation.
In another landmark judgment, the National Commission has held that the allottee is entitled to opt-out of a project if there is a delay in delivery possession of the house by the real estate developers. It was also held that the allottee is entitled to a refund of the entire money with reasonable interest and any deduction on the said amount is unjustified.
In another judgment, it was held that a builder cannot refuse to pay interest on the refund if such refund is being sought on account of deficient service rendered by the builder, or on account of unfair trade practice perpetrated by him.
These judgements can be read in the following two rulings by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India:- Mr. Tapash Roy vs Havelock Properties Ltd. on 11 April 2018 and M/s. Supertech Ltd. Vs. Rajni Goyal
Regulatory Forums & Criminal Case
An allottee can approach the regulatory authorities complaining against the non-compliance of the statutory obligations by the builders.
In cases where the builders make false promises to the flat purchasers and do not comply with their statutory obligations, the allottee has an option to file a criminal case in a criminal court against the builder along with the consumer complaint to be filed in consumer forum. The allottee can file a criminal case under the provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 for cheating, breach of contract, not responding to the grievance, and delivery of poor quality construction. The allottee can issue a statutory notice to the builder. In case the builder does not respond to the notice, parties have a right to approach the Criminal Court. A police complaint can be filed after the issue of notice and then a criminal complaint can be filed before the Metropolitan Magistrate. The complainant should bring out irregularities committed by the builders while executing the construction of the building.
4. Cheque Fraud.
Some of the flat owners have complained that the builder has taken extra money in the beginning, saying that they don’t have money to do the remaining work of their flat, and has promised that after the loans were sanctioned, they will return the amount taken, and for this, the builders issued a cheque to the consumer as a guarantee.
But, no money was given back to the flat buyer even after the loan amount was paid to the builder, and when the consumer went to cash in the cheque, they understood the real fraud. The Cheque issued to them was of a Blocked ICICI bank account. (Image of such a bounced cheque memo is attached below)
These builders again, take the advantage of common people not moving to the judiciary. A clear case of violation of the Negotiable Instruments Act, 1881 is applicable for the cases of dishonor of cheque. This Act has been amended many times since 1881.
According to Section 138 of the Act, the dishonor of cheque is a criminal offense and is punishable by imprisonment up to two years or with a monetary penalty or with both.
5. False Construction.
About 8 flats (out of 14) have permission for 1 BHK construction, but keeping all the rules on the side, the builders have built 2 BHK flats. Among these, many flats have already been sold who, when saw the papers and the construction Map, have complained about it to the builder but the builder has no intention of keeping an ear to hear.
6. Money Laundering.
The Liberacy is NOT confident about this case in the building construction, but would surely recommend to the authorities to establish an investigation.
We chose to give coverage on this topic because we as a responsible platform for the people, thought that it might lead the officials to something big in Nashik.
Money Laundering issue starts with the booking of flats back from 2014 to 2017. In this period, nearly all the 14 flats were booked with a token amount given to the builder “in cash”
But, the bank on which these buyers were dependent for the loans pulled their hands and every booking done was canceled.
The TOKEN AMOUNT, which in some cases were as big as ₹3,00,000 was NEVER returned. The builders said that they will return the amount once their flats are sold out.
Where did the money go? all the transaction was delivered in cash, so there is no bank statement for it and no tax paid.
What if these big amounts are gone to anti-social elements?
We are surely not confident about the transactions but reported according to what we heard in our investigation, and we demand a strict investigation into this.
The builders have periodically threatened the flat owners with abusive words and even went on to say that “They have big contacts”
We would surely be interested in knowing these big names.
There is a high chance that some of the partners of these builders, who belong to a certain category, of accusing the flat owners and even to The Liberacy and its founder, of some of the recently amended acts by the parliament of India, which was upheld by the supreme court of India in 2018.
We need to bring this in the notice of the authorities (District Magistrate), that this may happen in the future and we request necessary precautions.
8. Incomplete documentation.
The buyers have also complained that they cannot change their address on Aadhar Card or any other government platform because they don’t have proper Address proof.
As there is no electricity bill on the name of the buyers, hence this problem was unavoidable.
Now, the concern is, should the buyers move to court for justice?
A common man, only in his nightmares think about climbing the stairs of a court.
What can be done?
Local authorities can play a big role in this if they have any intention to do so.
The Local MLA or Local MP should be concerned about the local problems.
Local Administration (District Magistrate) should work in accordance with the benefit of its people.
The Voices raised should be platformed, and The Liberacy will be sending a copy of this article to:
- DM & Collector of Nashik Suraj D Mandhare.
- Honorable MP Dr. Bharti Pravin Pawar.
- MLA Diliprao Bankar.
- Media of Nashik.
Property Details:- Shreeji Heights, Sanjivaninagar, Ozar, Nashik-422206.
Gat no. 2427/2 Plot no. 25 (7/12 Details) & 8A number- 513145
The Grievance to the Prime Ministers Office was taken into serious consideration and the report was forwarded to the Maharashtra Government by the concerned officer from PMO.
Currently, the case is forwarded to A.I.G.P Law and Order of Maharashtra.
The Liberacy have always believed in Being the Voice of the Voiceless.
The issue reported here concerns the lives of several people. Hence, it will be of utmost importance for the concerned authorities. At the same time, we have taken care of not naming the builders, as it is the first report.
All the names of the builders and the advocates involved, including the owner, but excluding the former owner (before 5th September 2012) have not been disclosed to avoid any conflict of interest.
But, all the details will be disclosed, including the names, contact details, address and bank account statements in front of the investigating authority and the Indian judiciary, when called upon to do so.
There is no information on the construction company, we were unable to access even the NAME of the construction company who built the 4-storey building in the Rural Nashik area of Ojhar Sanjivaninagar.
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