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MahaRERA quashes complaints of delayed possession against Indiabulls

The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has quashed complaints of delayed possession filed by four home buyers (including a couple) against the developers of two projects in Raigad district. The developers blamed the delays on the lack of clearances from CIDCO, MMRDA and the High Rise Committee. The projects in question are Indiabulls Greens, Panvel and Indiabulls Savroli, Khalapur.

Home buyers had filed separate complaints of delayed possession against the Indiabulls projects, and sought to withdraw from them under the provisions of Section 18 of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act.

During the hearings held in December, Lucina Land Development Limited, the promoter of Indiabulls Greens, argued that handing over possession was subject to Clause 9 of the sale agreements, which gave the promoter a reasonable time extension if delays arose due to stalled clearances or force majeure — meaning uncontrollable events like natural disasters.

The promoter said the delay was beyond its control: the planning authority changed from Alibaug Township Authority (ATA) to City and Industrial Development Corporation (CIDCO), and then to Navi Mumbai Influence Notified Area, which did not function for 19 months, delaying the incentive FSI. Also, the ATA had asked all projects above 30 floors to seek fresh clearance from the High Rise Committee (Indiabulls Greens has 39-storey towers), they said.

The promoter said although ATA sanctioned the original plan in 2011, the MMRDA recommended changes in the amenity space policy, compelling a re-plan of the entire project, which finally received clearances only in 2013. The developer said possession would be given by December 31, 2018, ahead of the revised June 30, 2020 deadline that was registered.

Adjudicating officer Gautam Chatterjee, who is also MahaRERA chairperson, ruled that provisions of Section 18 of RERA did not apply. He directed the developer to hand over possession with Occupancy Certificates before December 31, 2018, failing which the developer would be liable to pay interest to buyers.

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