Bombay HC: Housing society free to negotiate with new developer for redevelopment

MUMBAI: The Bombay high court has said that a Vile Parle housing society that launched a battle with a builder over redevelopment, was “at liberty to enter into negotiation subject to the outcome of an arbitration with any new developer for redevelopment of its premises”. It has also appointed a court receiver to ascertain the balance in the bank accounts of the developer.

Homai Mahal Premises Co-operative Society Ltd had dragged the original developer, Icon Builders, to the HC for failure to complete the redevelopment and for flouting rental payments. The matter led to criminal case being filed against the builder, Sachin Kelkar who was subsequently arrested last year by the economic offences wing of the Mumbai police after Justice S J Kathawala directed a probe into alleged forged commencement certificates for the building.

The matter is now being heard by Justice Gautam Patel who directed that the “EOW will pursue the criminal case and also commission a forensic audit, if not already done, and report this to the court.’’ The redevelopment has been pending for seven years.

The HC also said, “Any purported obligations created by Icon Builders or Kelkar on the basis of fabricated CC or only on allotment letters or in unregistered agreements obviously cannot bind either the Society or any new developer.” There is also no question of Icon Builders “assigning” its rights under the Development Agreement to any new developer. That new development will have to be on a completely fresh start.’’

Credits ET Realty

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