In a recent ruling by the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RERA), a case involving Atul Sharma and Safrone Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. was heard and decided upon. The complaint, numbered RAJ-RERA-C-2019-2705, pertained to a project named "Green Ashiyana-II" located in Behror, Neemrana on the Delhi-Jaipur highway. The order, issued on 15th February 2023, shed light on the details of the case and provided a resolution based on the presented evidence.
Atul Sharma, the complainant, appeared before the RERA via video conferencing while Safrone Buildtech Pvt. Ltd., the respondent, failed to appear despite being served summons on three separate occasions. The non-appearance of the respondent raised concerns about their intent to defend themselves or the lack of any substantial defense. Consequently, the matter was heard ex-parte, meaning the case proceeded in the absence of the respondent.
Atul Sharma claimed that he had booked a plot of land on 17th June 2015 and made a payment of Rs. 4.47 lakh. In return, he received an acknowledgment receipt from Safrone Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. A detailed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or agreement for sale was subsequently signed on 26th August 2015, specifying that the plot would be delivered within 24 months, with a grace period of six months. In case of delay, the respondent would be liable to pay interest at a rate of 12 percent as a penalty. The total sale consideration was Rs. 16.90 lakh, of which Atul Sharma claimed to have paid Rs. 14.10 lakh.
Delay in Possession:
Despite the passage of six years since the promised date of possession, the respondent failed to deliver the plot to Atul Sharma. This led the complainant to seek a refund of the amount paid, along with interest, compensation, and legal charges.
Respondent's Absence and Counterclaim:
The respondent, though absent, submitted a document to the Inquiry Officer of RERA, Rajasthan. In this document, Safrone Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. contended that their project was not liable to be registered, as they had already executed sale deeds, lease deeds, or possession letters for 63.39 percent of the plots before the enactment of the Real Estate (Regulation and Development) Act, 2016 (referred to as 'the Act'). They provided a list of plots where these documents were allegedly issued but failed to provide substantial evidence to support their claim.
Considering the complainant's presentation and the documentary evidence provided, the Rajasthan RERA Authority found Atul Sharma's request for a refund and interest justified. The respondent was directed to refund the entire amount of Rs. 14.10 lakh, along with interest at the rate prescribed in the Rajasthan Real Estate (Regulation & Development) Rules, 2017. The interest rate was determined as the State Bank of India's highest Marginal Cost of Funds Based Lending Rate (MCLR) plus 2%, resulting in a rate of 7.30% + 2% = 9.30% from the date of deposit until the refund was made to the complainant.
Compliance and Consequences:
The respondent was given 45 days from the date of the order to comply with the refund directive. Additionally, they were required to submit a compliance report to the Rajasthan RERA Authority within 15 days following the refund. Failure to adhere to the order within the specified time frame would grant the complainant the right to recover the amount through the execution of a decree in accordance with section 40(1) of the Act and its accompanying rules.
The Rajasthan RERA Authority's decision in the case of Atul Sharma vs. Safrone Buildtech Pvt. Ltd. highlights the significance of adherence to contractual obligations in the real estate sector. The complainant's persistence and the documentary evidence presented led the Authority to rule in favor of a refund to be provided by the respondent. This order serves as a reminder to real estate developers about the consequences of failing to fulfill their commitments and the importance of complying with regulations outlined by RERA.
Note: The information provided in this article about Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority (RRERA) is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as legal or professional advice and readers should consult qualified professionals for advice specific to their circumstances. The information provided in this article is based on the Complaint No. RAJ-RERA-C-2019-2705 before the Rajasthan Real Estate Regulatory Authority
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