The Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has directed developer to give an undertaking that the firm will cover any losses suffered by five home buyers, who got refund orders for delayed possession last month, till the filing of an appeal with the appellate tribunal.
On September 27, 2018, MahaRERA had ordered the developer to refund the investments of five home buyers – Rahul Bhosale, Hitesh Shah, Riyaz Jetham, Alistair Gomes and Sachin Kadam – who had booked flats in Acropolis project in Virar through a subvention scheme in which buyers paid eight per cent of the flat consideration and the banks paid the remaining 92 per cent. The order was to be executed by the developer within 30 days from the date of the order.
The subvention scheme itself is a very big scam, in this scheme the builder gets almost 95% of the loan amount on signing of the agreement without laying a brick, unlike regular home loan where the bank pays to the builder as per progress of the work, the builder lures the home buyers on promise to pay EMI till he hands over the possession, but when builder fails to construct or give possession on time the liabilities comes on the home buyer and the home buyers becomes defaulter and not the builder, in subvention scheme builder charges 10% more then the market value which the buyer realises on the later stage, subvention scheme is design to cheat home buyers.
The developer approached MahaRERA again on October 11 and got a stay on the order till October 24. On October 24, the matter was heard again, and the developer sought extension of stay on the execution of the judgment till the end of 60-day appeal period, citing financial crunch to pay the decretal amount that needs to be paid before the Maharashtra Real Estate Appellate Tribunal.
According to Section 43 of RERA, the appellant has to deposit 50 per cent of the amount with the tribunal before the appeal can be heard.
During the hearing before MahaRERA member Madhav Kulkarni, Sulaiman Bhimani, who appeared for the home buyers, strongly opposed the stay petition arguing that home buyers will suffer monetary losses since they had purchased the flats with bank loans and are paying EMIs. He argued that Rahul Bhosale, who had taken two bank loans, had received a foreclosure letter from the bank stating that if dues are paid before a cut-off date, he will get a concession of Rs seven lakh. He argued that home buyers will suffer immediate losses if the stay is extended.
Kulkarni then directed the developer to file an undertaking to make good any losses suffered by the home buyers till the end of the 60-day appeal period which ends on November 26. The stay was granted after developer complied with the undertaking.
Sulaiman Bhimani Legal Consultant
Expert RERA & Co-operative Scty Matters
Human and Civil Rights Activist
President Citizens Justice Forum
Aarey Milk Colony, spread over 1,259 hectares of land, is an extension of Sanjay Gandhi National Park. In 1949, the land we know as Aarey was given to the Dairy Development Board of Maharashtra to shift the cattle sheds from the city to Aarey. Since then this area has been known as Aarey Milk Colony. Aarey has 27 tribal hamlets; in terms of flora and fauna, it has leopards and numerous species of birds, animals, insects, butterflies, snakes, herbs, shrubs and trees (which number more than 4 Lakh 80 thousand).
In November 2014 , morning walkers, cyclists and other regular visitors to Aarey Milk Colony found notices put up, announcing that 2298 trees in Aarey would be felled for construction of the carshed for Metro3. Citizens came together to protest against this mass felling of trees. Thus was born the Save Aarey Movement.
In December 2014 angry citizens for the first time gathered in Aarey Picnic Point area to protest against this unnecessary destruction of the city's ecology. 1200 + citizens came together again in February 2015, creating a human chain along Marine Drive. Post this event, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra announced appointment of an Expert Committee to explore other options for location of the Metro3 carshed .
The Expert Committee had 6 members; four Bureaucrats and two environmental experts from IIT and NEERI. Both the environmentalists put a dissenting note in the Committee's report, holding that Aarey is an ecologically sensitive area and rich in biodiversity. The proposed carshed location is the floodplain of the Mithi River, and construction in this area can lead to flooding in Andheri. Hence the carshed location should be shifted out of Aarey, they said .The other options for the carshed location suggested by the expert members were Kanjurmarg and Backbay in Colaba.
The Detailed Project Report prepared in 2011 for the Metro 3 Line also mentions three other options (along with the option of 33 ha land in Aarey) for the Metro 3 Carshed location: the ground in Bandra Kurla Complex, 26 Ha of land in Kalina, the Mahalaxmi Race Course. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation ( MMRCL) always claims that the 33 ha land area in Aarey is the only suitable location for the Metro 3 Carshed.
In 2015 the NGO, Vanashakti, along with citizens, filed a petition in National Green Tribunal (NGT) praying that Aarey be declared a forest and an Eco-Sensitive Zone. NGT on 19th August 2015, ordered status quo in Aarey pending final decision on the case. MMRCL, in August 2017 started dumping debris in the Metro 3 Carshed area in Aarey, along with excavation and mud filling activities in the area. This was in contempt of Court orders and was highlighted at the NGT. On 14th May 2018, NGT again ordered against any dumping of debris, land reclamation and Tree Felling in Aarey pending final decision in the case. But MMRCL continues to violate court orders. They have cordoned off more area in Aarey on the opposite side of the carshed area and have started land reclamation. What initially started as destruction of 33 ha of forest land is now leading to destruction of a much bigger area. Citizens lodged complaints in Aarey Police Station against these violations of court orders. MMRCL has also evicted Adivasis from Prajapur Pada in Aarey to SRA Buildings. This is in violation with Tribal Rights. Adivasis have filed a petition in Mumbai High Court.
On 20th September 2018 Judges from NGT's Principal Bench decided that this matter of declaring Aarey a Forests does not come under NGT's jurisdiction and NGT directed the petitioners to withdraw application and approach the right Authorities. This has happened after 3 and 1/2 years long proceedings in National Green Tribunal.
Through an RTI in 2017, Vanashakti found a letter written by the Divisional Manager of Sanjay Gandhi National Park( SGNP). This letter indicates that Aarey Milk Colony was of a much larger area earlier, and that 2076 ha of land from Aarey Milk Colony was Transferred to SGNP in 1969. But the forest department claims that they do not have any land records related to Aarey Milk Colony.
The forest department, in 2015, had submitted a draft proposal to the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MOEF) to declare Aarey Milk Colony as an Eco Sensitive Zone. MMRCL moved an application with the MOEF and got 165 ha of land (1.65 sq km) from Aarey denotified from the Eco Sensitive Zone. The MOEF denotified an area of 1.65 sq km from the ESZ in December 2016. This decision has been challenged by Vanashakti in NGT through a different petition.
Already, a large part of Aarey Forest has been lost to different projects and construction activities. Citizens fear that with the entry of the Metro 3 carshed, better described as a railway service centre, the rest of this forest, spreading over 1259 ha, will be lost to construction activities for ever.
Mumbai City is already sinking because of the destruction of its water bodies, wetlands and mangroves. Loss of Forest area and destruction of the floodplain of the Mithi River in Aarey will lead to further destruction of the city and flooding in more new areas in Mumbai. Lakes , supplying drinking water to Mumbai are also located in Forest Areas. Vihar lake on the border of SGNP and Aarey.
The air quality of Mumbai will be seriously hit if 4000 full grown trees are removed from its last remaining green space,the Aarey forests. .
A Movement that started with the news of felling of 2298 trees has brought out more shocking details. MMRCL floated a tender document for felling of 3384 trees in Aarey Milk Colony in 2017. And number of trees that are in line for sacrifice is still increasing. Tribals have lost their homes and livelihood. Floodplain of Mithi River has been damaged and this city will finally lose 1.65 sq km of forest areas to construction activities if this Carshed is not shifted out of Aarey. Facts finding team of Citizens have also found letters that speak about Government granting 3 FSI on 33 ha (82.5 acres) of Aarey land. A design layout prepared by MMRCL for the Carshed area also has marked an area on 33 ha land for realestate prooject.
Citizens of Mumbai needs to decide what is more important for them. A peaceful and happy life in a place requires, Fresh Air, Good supply of Drinking water , accessible open spaces and flood free roads .
In a Costal city like Mumbai, when the entire world is suffering from the consequences of Global Warming a place like Aarey becomes extremely crucial for survival of the city.
I received this email from Change.org - it was Women and Child Minister for India - Maneka Gandhi petitioning for policy ideas! Whacky, but this is a government for the absurd. I delted the email and forgot about it, till Swarna Rajgopalan asked about it on Twitter. Someone had forwarded the email to her. She couldn't find the link to the petition. So I dug it out of the trash, and went through the email. This is it. As it is. There is no petition it is a carefully crafted promotion of a government form that looks like a notification for a new petition. Additionally, the sender for the change.org email is "Maneka Gandhi" and not "Change.org" as for usual petitions.
I am writing to you to see if you have a new idea for women safety and empowerment.
We at the Ministry of Women & Child Development have formulated the National Policy for Women. It has been a 2 year process with several stakeholder consultations.
This transformative policy will address the needs of women in the New India and also guide the functioning of the Government in decades to come.
We have a draft ready and before we conclude it, I am seeking some out-of-the-box ideas and suggestions from you that could be incorporated into the policy.
Vidyut, I have been happy to take action on Change.org petitions supported by you. We have taken steps to ease the passport rules for children of single parents and control the alarming rates of caesarean section births.
I would now like to hear your suggestions for this policy by the 15th May 2017. Click on this link to submit your suggestion.
You can also send your suggestions on Twitter and on the Facebook page of the Ministry. Don’t forget to add#NationalPolicy4Women on all your suggestions.
Thank you for participating in developing this Policy for Women.
Change.org · 548 Market St #29993, San Francisco, CA 94104-5401, USA
So I made a suggestion:
This is the end of the road for supporting causes on Change.org for me. I had never figured out why anyone needs a special website to create petitions, but given that a majority of petitions are made to the government, a site that gives the government access to its most loyal readers is clearly not one that can be trusted.
Appeal to all to support the cause by signing and promoting the petition http://tinyurl.com/jk47wmf The petition is about safety of Innocent people from Fire Hazard due to high scale corruption in Fire Dept and inaction as well as lethargy of Fire Dept. endangering lives of many innocent citizens.
The Hon’ble Chief Minister,Shri Devendra Fadnavis,
Mantralaya, 6th Floor, Madame Cama Road,
Mumbai – 400032.
BMC Head Office, Mahapalika Marg,
Mumbai – 400001.
Mumbai Police Commissioner,
T. Marg, Opp. Crawford Market,
Mumbai – 400002.
Sub: Inaction by the Chief Fire Officer (CFO) of Mumbai Fire Brigade, Suburban Head Quarters, Marol Fire Station, Marol Naka, Mumbai, (and other officers) with regards to the illegal constructions done and subsequent fire at “Golden Chariot Restaurant” in “The Hub Mall”, Goregaon (East), Mumbai. (Hereinafter referred to as “said Restaurant” for sake of brevity), on 28.12.2016.
Sir / Madam,
We, the undersigned, fully support this Petition created by the NGO – “Citizens Justice Forum” which is working in the public interest to protest against the inaction of the concerned officers against the said Restaurant which had grossly violated construction norms and thus had resulted in a big fire on 28.12.2016.
It is highly regrettable that the authorities entrusted with the implementation of the Fire Safety norms have miserably failed to perform their duties which gave a liberty to a few devious persons to violate the law with impunity.
The said Restaurant has been operating illegally since 2008 without the mandatory permissions from MCGM – the Bldg. and Factory Dept., Fire Department etc. On 16.1.2013 the Fire Brigade Department of the MCGM after inspection of the said restaurant, submitted a report to the CFO, notifying him about the gross violations and a demand to initiate penal action against the said Restaurant. (We annex a copy of the said letter as Exhibit “A” )
CGM, Fire Department via letter dated 19.6.2014 once again notified the CFO about the various encroachments, construction in the fire exit area, deviation from the sanctioned plans and again recommended immediate action against the said Restaurant. (A copy of the said letter has been annexed and marked as Exhibit “B”).
Again MCGM’s Fire Department via letter dated 14.11.14 submitted afresh complaint to the CFO highlighting the disobedience and defiance by the said restaurant and continuation of the various violations in spite of multiple notices. They also informed the CFO that the MOH and Fire Brigade Department have rejected the application for the trade license of the said Restaurant. Despite the repeated reminders by the MCGM’s Fire Department, the CFO chose not to take any action against the said Restaurant. This non-performance of the statutory duty by the CFO undeniably amounts to aiding and abetting unauthorized constructions and nexus with this law-breaker for possible illegal gratifications. ( A copy of the said letter has been annexed and marked as Exhibit “C”.)
On 28.12.2016 at 12.20 p.m a major fire broke out in the said Restaurant which is situated on the second floor of the Hub Mall. Sweltering fire engulfed the said Restaurant and the people inside did not have any immediate access to any of the Fire Exits as the illegal alteration and construction had blocked all the exits of the said Restaurant. A major tragedy was thwarted due to the timely action of the six fire tenders pressed into service by the Fire Brigade department. The fire was quelled only in the evening and the incident was covered largely by the media also. ( A copy of the print media coverage on the above said incident is annexed and marked as Exhibit-“D”.)
It is pertinent to note that even after the blaze on 28.12.2016, no action whatsoever has been initiated against the said Restaurant by the CFO nor an FIR has been lodged which is in contravention of the the Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measures Act, 2009.
Furthermore, to add insult to injury, the said Restaurant is functioning as usual, posing a serious threat to the unwary patrons who may become victims to the manipulations and connivance of the authorities and the owners of the said Restaurant, in case a similar incident recurs, rendering their lives in peril.
With great remorse it is submitted that if such delaying and colluding tactics are to be stopped, some stringent action has to be taken by ruthlessly demolishing the illegal constructions and alterations made by the said restaurant by following the due process of law.
Eegretfully it has become a sort of a norm in our society that affluent persons can escape the clutches of law or twist the arm of law by some manipulation and greasing of palms. This norm must be proved wrong and a true meaning should be given to the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. I hereby earnestly request you to inquire into this matter with urgency and issue directions to the concerned authorities to initiate appropriate action against the said restaurant at the earliest and not wait for another fatal fire incident to occur.
The period to rectify and make necessary changes or to meet the compliance as per law is 120 days after giving the notice. But more than 120 days have lapsed and no compliance has been met till date under the Rules of Maharashtra Fire Prevention and Life Safety Measure Act, 2006. Under the latter Law there is a provision to start prosecution proceedings by lodging FIR regarding non- compliance of fire and life safety regulation by competent authority i.e. Mumbai fire Brigade. But Mumbai Fire Brigade failed to take any action for reasons best known to them. To the common man it would be appear to be for illegal gratifications.
There should be Departmental Inquiry to probe the involvement of Fire Brigade staff, Asstt. Mun. Commissioner, Astt. Engr. (B&F), MoH etc. of MCGM’s P/South ward, Police Officers of Vanrai Police Station etc. These law-enforcers should be dealt strictly in accordance with the Service Rules, Prevention of Corruption Act, IPC and other laws of the land and criminal proceeding should be initiated against them
We would like to draw your attention to Section 10 of the Transfers and Delays Act 21 of 2006/ (64C of the Mumbai Municipal Corporation Act)which mandates that no decision can be kept pending for over 3 months. In the instant case, no action is initiated despite complaints being made from December 2015. So we request to conduct a preliminary enquiry to fix responsibility on the officers responsible for this delay and take appropriate disciplinary action against them. We request that the report of the enquiry may please be sent to us, furnished to the media and uploaded on the MCGM and Maharashtra Govt. website.
We further wish to state that these concerned officers ( viz. the Mumbai Fore Brigade’s CFO, MoH, A.E. (B&F) of P/South ward, Sr. Police Inspector of Vanrai Police Station, concerned ACP and DCP etc. by their inaction on this gross illegality are violating the following provisions and attract punishment under :
IPC 217: Public servant disobeying direction of law with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture.
IPC 218: Public servant framing incorrect record or writing with intent to save person from punishment or property from forfeiture.
IPC 221: Intentional omission to apprehend on the part of public servant bound to apprehend.
So we urge you to at least now take immediate suitable action to prevent similar tragedy and punish all the concerned officers who had connived to facilitate illegal construction which had resulted in this inferno.
We would appreciate if we are inform of the action taken on our above concerns and the inquiry reports as and when they are completed.