MUMBAI: A consumer disputes redressal forum in Mumbai has directed a builder to transfer the property card in favour of a housing society in Ghatkopar, more than three decades after the building was constructed. The forum directed Chandrakant Shetye, who had, in 1979, purchased the land on which he constructed Ambika Siddhi at Jagdusha Nagar in Ghatkopar (West) to first get the title to the land transferred in his name.
The forum president S D Madake and member SV Kalal, in the order passed on October 15, said, “We feel Shetye has to first ensure that he has title over the property, which he intends to convey in favour of society.” The developer’s failure to execute conveyance was impeding plans to redevelop the 30-year-old building, said the society. The society had refused to accept conveyance from original landowner, since it said it had no contract with him.
The district forum asked the other landowners to co-operate with the transfer of title to Shetye and added that the developer is “obliged legally to transfer title in favour of society.” The forum also directed Shetye to execute a conveyance deed to the society, obtain, within four months, its completion as well as occupancy certificate and pay a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the society. Shetye must also pay Rs 1,000 per day after the deadline, till he secures the certificates, the forum ordered.
“The order is unique as it requires the developer to first complete the paperwork to transfer to himself the title of the land and then transfer it to the society and to effect such via the original land owner,” said advocate Vinod Sampat who represented the society. He had argued before the Forum, “Builders sometimes buy land from an entity which purchased it from the original owner, but execute the conveyance to a society through the original owner, with the other two later owners, as ‘confirming parties’, thus depriving state of stamp duty.”
The society had dragged the developer Shetye to the additional consumer forum at Bandra, for failing to convey the land and title. Shetye’s lawyer Bipin Joshi denied allegations of any deficiency in service or negligence. He also said that the occupancy certificate was obtained in 1987 itself and all necessary stamp duty was paid, as required by law prevailing then. The society has 46 members, in seven shops and 39 residential flats. The complaint was filed in 2009 against Shetye, Rajeshri Enterprises and Ghatkopar land development corporation (both previous owners of the land), for deficiency in service.
In 2014, the forum directed the builder to give conveyance, including TDR. The developer took the matter in appeal all the way to the national consumer disputes redressal commission. But the national commission in 2015 impleaded the original land owner to the case and remitted the matter back to the Bandra forum for a fresh and expeditious hearing.
Shetye, Rajashree Enterprises and Ghatkopar Land Development Corporation denied any negligence or deficiency, argued that the sale deeds were not required to be registered and claimed to have paid stamp duty, as required by the law, then. Shetye also pointed out that the society never complained of lack of conveyance all along. The forum did not accept the society’s plea for Rs 15 lakh compensation and for full stamp duty to be paid by the developer for previous three sale deeds.
Law requires a developer to execute a conveyance deed within four month in favour of society from date of its registration.
Credits ET Realty