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Flat Sale or Leave & Licence? Jain "Charitable" Trust cheats Blind Flat-buyer

 Mumbai, 22nd February, 2017: It's a simple case of cheating and breach-of-trust by a Jain "charitable" trust called Vardhman Sanskar Dham (Trust Reg. no. 19790 – Mumbai). In 2007, Vardhaman Sanskar Dham purchased a flat in Nairut building, Rajiv Nagar, Virar, for Rs 4.30 lakh. Four years later, in 2011, the trust sold this flat to a blind man named Mr Jethmal Sonigra for Rs 13.19 lakhs, earning more than three times the amount that it had invested. However, although the first letterhead-receipt of the trust clearly shows that Mr Sonigra had paid for purchase of the flat (565 sq. ft. x Rs 2,600/-), the second letter says that this amount is a "deposit" against which "we have hand over possession for residence purpose".
Through this letter, this "charitable trust" is trying to say that allowing him to stay in this house was only a "charitable act" towards a blind man, and the money that he paid them – three times the price of the flat – was only a "deposit"!
Jethimal Sonigra and his daughter Pravina.
At first Sonigra did not suspect foul play. For over four years, Sonigra kept on pursuing the trustees to register the sale, and the trustees kept on postponing and evading him. In the course of this transaction and its follow-up, the blind man interacted with Mr Yogesh M Shah (chief trustee), Mr Jyotish N Kuwadia (trustee), Mr Bharat Sakaria (trustee), and Dineshbhai (retired trustee), who all kept passing the buck at one another.
In October 2016, Sonigra finally decided that enough was enough, and he sent the trust a formal letter through a lawyer requesting them to register a sale agreement. The trustees haven't replied in writing, but they have been telling the blind man that they will make a Leave-and-Licence agreement, but not a sale agreement! 
Now at the end of his tether after five years of chasing the trustees, Sonigra submitted a written complaint to Arnala police station. Surprisingly, it seems PSI Govle told him, after perusing the documents and speaking to CA Chetan Bal and other trustees, that he should be grateful to Vardhman Sanskar Dham and its charitable-minded trustees!
Read these documents and understand the facts of the case:
  1. 2007 - Registered Flat-Purchase Agreement between builder and Trust.
  2. 2011 - Letter of sale given to Sonigra on Trust letterhead.
  3. 2012 - Trust letter stating that it was giving the blind Jain (Sadharamik) man "possession" against a "deposit" because he required "accommodation".
  4. Oct 2016 – Lawyer's letter to the Trust asking them to register Sale Agreement.
  5. December 2016 – Sonigra's police complaint to Arnala Police Station
Vardhaman Sanskar Dham Trust has at least 10 flats in Nairut building alone, and 30 or more flats in surround areas in Virar. Some flats are held in the names of trustees. Quite a few flats are occupied by "charitable" occupants like Jethmal Sonigra.
How many more followers of Jainism has Vardhman Sanskar Dham exploited? Is this their regularmodus operandi?
Written with key inputs by Sulaiman Bhimani (9323642081)
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY

Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com

POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY

Sulaiman Bhimani
9323642081
1) Read the emailed rebuttal of Vardhaman Sanskar Trust.

2) Read specific questions which the trustees declined to answer. 

Mumbai, 14th February, 2017: Horizon Green, the prestigious new Borivali East project, has huge issues. No real drainage system – that's a  serious problem we have written articles about. But there's a more serious worry for flat-purchasers, namely, not getting proper title to the purchased flat at Horizon Green. The confusion on who's legally the builder of Horizon Green -- Raheja, Bhoomi or Prashasti -- is like three men claiming to have fathered one child. On the municipal corporation's records, K Raheja is the builder. But Prashasti Enterprise is claiming to prospective flat-purchasers that it is the builder. And in between Raheja and Prashasti, there's the ghost of Bhoomi Constructions, a partnership that has been dissolved.

On paper, Bhoomi Constructions got the development rights in 2003 from K Raheja for building Horizon Green, and in turn assigned these development rights to Prashasti Enterprise in 2008. But that's only on paper; in real life, neither Bhoomi nor Prashasti exercised the said development rights, and Horizon Green was entirely built by the efforts of K Raheja through their company Tropicana Properties Pvt. Ltd. which was later changed to Palm Grove Beach Hotels Pvt. Ltd.

So, if you buy a flat in Horizon Green, it's like buying something from Chor Bazaar; pay the money, take the goods and don't ask uncomfortable questions!You get no warranties, no guarantees and no consumer rights. Between Raheja, Bhoomi and Prashasti, there is a defective and broken chain of title; then how can Prashasti transfer good title to a flat purchaser? Clearly, it can't! So, the flat-buyers cannot get clear title over their flats.

The whole realty market is giving conflicting versions on who is the developer. Home Realty says Horizon Green is a Bhoomi project. Mumbai Property Exchange lists it as a Prashasti project. Housing.com is promoting it as a K Raheja project.

The IOD, CC and OC were issued to K Raheja. MCGM's Occcupation Certificate was issued to Palm Grove Beach Hotels Pvt. Ltd. (a Raheja Group company) in April 2015. The stop-work notice and FIR filed in 2016 were also filed against Palm Grove. So, in the eyes of civic authorities, Palm Grove i.e. K Raheja is the builder.

But a flat-buyer is forced to enter into the flat-purchase agreement with Prashasti Enterprise, which is completely unrelated to K Raheja.

Prashati came into the picture by virtue of a doubtful and possibly illegal unregistered Agreement made in March 2008, which was reinforced by a Supplementary Agreement signed in June 2015, three months after the Occupation Certificate was issued to K Raheja. Bhoomi Constructions claims to got development rights from K Raheja vide an agreement made in January 2003, and transferred the same to Prashasti Enterprise.

The agreement between Bhoomi Constructions and Prashasti Enterprise is illegal and invalid. Why? Here are some reasons:

1) Can a dissolved partnership firm transfer any title or development rights formerly held by the firm? NO. When Bhoomi Constructions transferred the rights to Prashasti Enterprises by a stamped and registered supplementary agreement, the former had already been dissolved. How can the individual partners of a partnership firm that is no longer in existence, enter into (or ratify, confirm, stamp and register) any agreement and to transfer the development rights i.e. title that was held by the firm? This transfer is bad in law.

2) If development rights are not exercised by the entity holding it, can it claim to be the "developer"? NO. Development rights were never exercised by Bhoomi and Prashasti. Neither Bhoomi nor Prashasti exercised their development rights for building Horizon Green. From beginning to end of construction, the development rights were exercised by Palm Grove i.e. K Raheja. There isn't even one paper on record showing that Bhoomi Constructions or Prashasti Enterprise exercised the development rights.

3) Can an Association Of Persons act like a corporate entity? NO. Prashasti Enterprise is only an Association Of Persons (AOP), not a proper corporate or firm. It is neither a company nor a partnership firm, but an odd kind of association – a conglomerate of two natural persons (Mr Jayesh J Doshi and Mr Nirav B Mehta, apparently relatives of the owners of Bhoomi Constructions) and a corporate entity (M/s Prashasti Developers Pvt. Ltd.). In India, there is no special law applicable to an AOP, and therefore, there is no transparency in their dealings with the public or with government authorities. AOP is an entity under Income Tax Act, but it is generally unregulated, unaccountable, and difficult to hold legally liable.

Telling MCGM that Palm Grove is the builder and telling the flat purchaser that Prashasti is the builder -- that is itself cheating. Yeh 420 wala kaam hai! The three builder groups have deliberately colluded to create grey areas for everybody, in order to evade being held responsible by various law-enforcement agencies and judicial forums. (More details of this will be disclosed in future articles.)

WARNING TO POTENTIAL HOME BUYERS

If you are thinking of buying a flat at Horizon Green, ask yourself the question: if you have to go to consumer court for some reason, against whom will your make you claim for compensation -- K Raheja's Palm Grove Beach Hotels, Bhoomi Construction's individual partners or the Association of Persons called Prashasti Enterprise? Consult some chartered accountants and lawyers, and they will tell you that this is a grey area. Our courts take decades to decide even clear-cut cases where everything is black-and-white. If there are grey areas, you will have to run from pillar to post for many decades in search of justice.

Mr & Mrs Home Buyer, a flat in Horizon Green is like quicksand. So keep a safe distance, and don't get stuck in it.

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com

POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Sulaiman Bhimani
9323642081
sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com

11

Mumbai, 27th January, 2017: Justice Chinnasamy Swaminathan Karnan of Culcutta High Court and formerly of Madras High Court, wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi urging him to take action against "high corruption at the judiciary". In his letter dated 23rdJanuary, 2017, Justice CS Karnan furnished the prime minister with "an initial list of corrupt judges", and in addition, three other officers of Madras High Court, who he implied had detailed knowledge and proof of the corrupt acts of the 20 judges. Justice Karnan asked for all these persons to be "interrogated by the officers of the Central Agencies" – probably referring to Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Justice CS Karnan's recent writings and actions have confronted India with huge questions and challenges, namely:
a) Is Justice CS Karnan a judge a nutcase – a man with impaired mental functioning? If so, what constitutional safeguards does the nation have to remove him, to prevent him from damaging the reputation and function of the higher judiciary?
b) Alternatively, is Justice CS Karnan a whistleblower revealing rampant corruption in Madras High Court and Supreme Court? If so, what constitutional mechanisms does India have to conduct proper investigation of his allegations?
Read Justice CS Karnan's letter to the Prime Minister below:
The judges named in this letter are mostly Justice Karnan's former colleagues, namely:
  1. Justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul, Chief Justice of Madras High Court and earlier, Punjab and Haryana High Court
  2. Justice S Manikumar of Madras High Court
  3. Justice V Ramasubramanian of Madras High Court
  4. Justice (Retd) Chitra Venkataraman of Madras High Court
  5. Justice (Retd) RS Ramanathan of Madras High Court\
  6. Justice RK Agrawal of Supreme Court
  7. Justice TS Thakur, who recently retired as Chief Justice of India
  8. Justice MY Eqbal (Retd), former Chief Justice of Madras High Court and Supreme Court judge
  9. Justice (Retd) FM Ibrahim Kalifulla of Supreme Court
  10. Justice (Retd) Satish Agnihotri of Madras High Court
  11. Justice (Retd) Elipe Dharma Rao of Madras High Court
  12. Justice (Retd) KN Basha of Madras High Court
  13. Justice (Retd) G M Akbar Ali of Madras High Court
  14. Justice (Retd) Aruna Jagadeesan of Madras High Court
  15. Justice V Dhanapalan of Madras High Court, with whom CS Karnan had a public quarrel.
  16. Justice MM Sundresh of Madras High Court
  17. Justice N Kirubakaran of Madras High Court
  18. Justice S Nagamuthu of Madras High Court
  19. Justice T Raja of Madras High Court
  20. Justice M Sathyanarayan of Madras High Court
So, in the light of this letter, let us consider whether Karnan is a raving nutcase that the judiciary is unable to rid itself of. Is justice Karnan a living proof of the fact that there is almost no way of getting rid of a bad or incompetent judge?
Or is Karnan a whistleblower exposing the corruption of Indian judiciary, and deserving of the respect and gratitude of all Indian citizens? And therefore, is he a living proof of the fact that even a High Court judge cannot bring corrupt judges to justice?
The jury is still out on that one.
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
9821588114
krish.kkphoto@gmail.com
Posted in Public Interest by
Sulaiman Bhimani 
9323642081
sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com

Mumbai, 24 October, 2016: Ekta Group of builders cheats and bullies its customers – no two ways about it. Don't be fooled by clever PR campaigns, paid media, beautiful website, and estate agents. Don't get taken in by endorsements of reputed corporate like HDFC RealtyHDFC Red, or mentions in Magic Bricks Now. Don't get fooled by Anil Kapoor's endorsement and MCHI-Credai Awards for Customer Responsiveness. That's all smokescreen. The ground-reality is that Ekta Group, also known as Ekta World, is shamelessly unreliable. Booking a flat in an Ekta project means giving lakhs of rupees with no safeguards and no legal entitlements. Even when the flat-agreement is registered, it is an unfair, one-sided agreement that make you lose all your rights as a flat purchaser. Ekta builder's overall strategy is to make the buyer helpless. As they say in market language,"Builder ko haath kaatke de dene jaisa hai" -- like cutting off your hands and giving them to the builder!
Why are we making such harsh statements against a reputed builder? If you don't like long explanations, just read (1)brochure of Ekta Parksville and (2) flat-purchase agreement for Ekta Parksville. The brochure is full of rosy promises, whereas the sale agreement tells you that you have no rights and no legal entitlements at all. Builder ka sab kuch, buyer ka kuch nahin!The agreement is nothing but bhai-giri made out in legal language. Investors who have got the point can stop reading and go look for other places to put their hard earned money. Others, who want explanations, can continue reading about the actual experience of a customer. 
{Click to read the rebuttal to this press release by Ekta World CMD Ashok Mohanani OR continue reading the story of a flat-buyer below.}
 
The story of a flat-buyer:
  1. Five years ago, Vineet Malik of Gurgaon applied for a flat in Ekta Parksville project in Virar, at a price of Rs 26 lakhs. The first demand for payment by Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt. Ltd. came in November 2011. This amount was promptly paid. The verbal commitment given to him was that the flat would be delivered by December 2013 i.e. two years later.
  1. Four years later, in November 2015, the last demand note was sent by Ekta Parksville Homes Pvt. Ltd. Although 95% of the total consideration had already been paid, the flat-purchase agreement was not yet signed. The buyer was at the builder's mercy; the builder could break the deal even now.
  1. In March 2016, although the buyer had paid 97% of the total consideration, Ekta continued to refer to the deal as "provisional booking". See this indemnity bond given by the buyer.
  1. In May 2016, finally, the Flat Purchase Agreement was registered. (MOFA requires registered agreement at the time of receiving 20% of the total consideration, but these builders are laws unto themselves!) The agreement was full of discriminatory clauses making the buyer renounce all his legal rights. In a nutshell, the agreement says that flat-owner is only the owner of the four walls of his house, and he has no say in the common amenities promised in the lavish brochure. (Even if the builder reduces any or all of the amenities, and exploits the FSI of the land and/or any common area of the building, the flat-owner must keep quiet! Is this the kind of agreement one expects from a reputed builder?)
  1. According to the recently signed agreement, the promised date for giving possession is December 2016. But, judging from the current construction status, this promise will be broken. The entire site is under-construction; there is no way it can be completed for giving possession within two months. Buyers will be lucky to get possession even on December 2017!
These two pictures sum up the situation:
Ekta Parksville – What was promised
 
Ekta Parksville – What will be delivered in December 2016
 
In our next article, we will look at the discriminatory clauses in the flat-purchase Agreement which negate the lawful entitlements of the flat-purchaser.
Meanwhile, call us and share your own experiences regarding Ekta's projects.
[Acknowledgment: Thank you activist Sulaiman Bhimani for research and groundwork.]
ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao
98215 88114

krish.kkphoto@gmail.com


POSTED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Sulaiman Bhimani
9323642081

sulaimanbhimani11@gmail.com