An FIR (90/2017) has been lodged at Bandra's Kherwadi Police station, against a developer on charges of delaying redevelopment of buildings located at Kole Kalyan, Kalina in Santacruz (East) and keeping 67 allottees on tenterhooks for nearly a decade despite collecting nearly Rs 87 crore from them towards the cost of the flats.
The FIR was lodged on April 19, 2017 by Police Sub Inspector Jashri Sangle, based on the complaint of a 72-year-old allottee Clifford Menezes, against the directors of RNA Corp Pvt Ltd; Anubhav Agarwal, Gokul Agarwal, Sarang Agarwal and others. Sections 403, 420, 34 of the IPC and the Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act (MOFA) have been leveled against the accused. The FIR says that the accused collected Rs 87,11,53,540 from 67 allottees but failed to give possession of flats, for nearly a decade. The FIR was subsequently transferred to the Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police for further investigation.
When contacted, Assistant Police Inspector (API) Vikrant Shirsat of EOW told The Afternoon D&C that more FIRs are likely to be filed against the accused and no one will be spared. At present we are conducting a thorough inquiry into the matter, he added.
According to documents made available by RTI activist Sulaiman Bhimani, the developer agreed to redevelop Sunder Nagar Co-op. Society, Siddhesh Co-op Hsg Spociety, Matoshri Co-op Hsg Society and Kamkar Chawl located on plots (City survey No. 4853,4853/1 to 85, 87 and 88) totally ad measuring 14,956.41 square mtrs located in Kalina.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s building proposal issued IOD (Intimation of Disapproval) under section 346 of the BMC Act on September 7, 2006, and subsequently issued a commencement certificate on March 30, 2007, to the developer. Despite all the clearances, no construction was started in time.
The proposed composite project was titled as 'RNA Address' which was supposed to have 7 buildings with an area of 57,4945 sq. ft. comprising 294 premium apartments of 2 BHK, 3 BHK and other configurations. The total sales value of RNA Address was estimated at Rs 1,009 crore of which the developer sold units worth Rs 360.35 crore.
Yet the developer issued letters of allotment to the allottees, towards purchase of the flats. The allottees made payments ranging between 20% to 60% of the total purchase, based on the reminders of the developer. Besides the tripartite agreements were also executed and entered into between the allottees, the developer and the State Bank of India(SBI). In terms of the agreements, SBI sanctioned stipulated loan amounts in favour of individual allottees based on the guarantee provided by the developer in favor of SBI. The developer agreed to obtain the necessary permissions and register the ownership agreements, within twelve months of signing the agreement.
On May 11, 2012, the developer communicated to the allottees, that due to certain amendments in the Development Control Regulations of the BMC, the number of floors of 'RNA Address' have been reduced to 13 from earlier 15. As such the payment schedule stands revised.
In March 2013, the developer told the allottees that the third slab had been completed, but since the approval was obtained only for the construction up to the third slab, the work would remain suspended till additional approvals were obtained from the BMC.
Then on March 30, 2016, the developer obtained a fresh NOC from the Mumbai board of MHADA to commence work but again kept the work pending. When some of the allottees inquired with MHADA and the BMC about the delay, they were surprised to find out that since the developer did not make required payment, the approvals were held up.
As of now there is a plinth plus three storey structure in an absolute wretched condition at the site. Now some of the allottees have also submitted a petition to the National Consumer Redressal Forum, seeking justice. Repeated attempts to get version of the developer failed since RNA’s supposedly 'Corporate communication team' went on dodging the issue.
Although the fire brigade has cancelled the NOC granted to the Golden Chariot Hotel, located at Hub Mall, Goregaon East, which was gutted in a massive fire on 29th December, 2016, the BMC is yet to take action against the hotel which was accused of blocking fire-exits and carrying out structural changes that allegedly led to delay in putting off the fire.
Deputy Chief Officer has cancelled the NOC (FBL/S/106/1076 dated 01/11/2006) granted to the hotel, vide his letter dated 6 th March 2017. However BMC’s P South ward office maintain that although the notices have been issued to the hotel for violation of safety norms, the hotel has moved the court and the court has granted a stay in the matter.
Basically in the writ petition (105/2017) filed by the Golden Chariot Hospitality Services Private Limited against the state government, the rule is yet to be granted. When the petition came up for hearing for the first time, a bench comprising justices Naresh Patil and M.S.Karnik observed that, “Registry has not produced papers and proceedings of the present writ petition. Hence it stand over to 22 February 2017. In the meantime registry to trace out and ensure that papers are produced on next date of the hearing. Now the petition is to scheduled to come up for hearing on23 March 2017.
Speaking to The Afternoon D & C, Assistant Municipal Commissioner Santosh Dhond said, “The BMC has taken required action in the matter. But now the court has granted a stay in the matter”.
Senior Inspector of Police Jyotsna Vilas Rasam of Vanrai Police station said that the cases have been registered against the hotel under the Maharashtra Regional Town Planning (MRTP) Act 1966, as advised by the BMC. “We are moving as per the instructions of the BMC, which is supposed to look after the issues like how fire broke out ? whether unauthorised structural changes led to aggravation of fire ? etc”, she added.
RTI activists Krishnraj Rao, Shaikh Fakhruddin Junaid and Sulaiman Bhimani, who have been monitoring the case, maintained that the Deputy Municipal Commissioner Kiran Achrekar and Deputy Chief Fire Officer V N Panigrahi had ordered the closure of the hotel long back.
But the hotel continues to function, may be due to collusion with the BMC officers. Initially the officers dragged their feet making it easy for the accused to move the court, they alleged.
It may be recalled that a complaint report of the Chief Fire Officer dated 14 November 2014, had pointed out many irregularities including unauthorised structural changes, closure of fire exits etc and had directed the BMC’s P south ward to take immediate action in the matter. The report stated that “The P ward shall be asked to urgently visit the premises to verify the license and the area of trade and activities of the “Golden Chariot Restaurant” and take appropriate action under section 394 of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act 1888, to stop unauthorised utilisation of additional area of the common passage for restaurant activities. The action of the hotel management could not be obtained despite many attempts. The catering staff at the restaurant said that everything was normal after the fire and now the hotel was functioning routinely
The high Court has not Granted stay to Golden Chariot but the AMC Psouth is protecting the culprit, the matter in the High Court is kept for admission and circulation as per High Court website