Should home­buy­ers ac­cept a refund?

Le­gal ex­perts say pay­ments will be held up if case goes to SC

HT Estates - - NEWS - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

Af t er t he di­rec­tion of Al­la­habad High Court to de­mol­ish two tow­ers – Apex and Ceyane - in Su­pertech Emer­ald Court’s group hous­ing project, 600 home­buy­ers who have in­vested ` 40 lakh to ` 55 lakh are clue­less about the course of ac­tion they have to fol­low.

While some buy­ers feel it’s best to get a refund and in­vest t he money i n other ‘ s afe’ projects, oth­ers say they are think­ing of ap­peal­ing to the Supreme Court to re­solve their prob­lems as the com­pen­sa­tion is in­ad­e­quate given the prop­erty price es­ca­la­tion in the last five years.

Bhaskar Mishra, a 28-year-old man­age­ment con­sul­tant with a Gur­gaon-based IT com­pany, who in­vested about ` 35lakh in 2009, wants to with­draw his money from the Emer­ald Court project.

“I per­son­ally be­lieve that there is no point get­ting in­volved in lit­i­ga­tion but it’s not easy to get a refund. Also, the de­vel­oper has stopped an­swer­ing our e-mails so we don’t know what to do,” says Mishra.

An­other home­buyer, K K Mit­tal, has a dif­fer­ent take on the whole is­sue. He says, “If the de­vel­oper goes to the Supreme Court and gets a stay on the Al­la­habad High Court judg­ment, he will not refund any money. In that case, we have no op­tion but to be a party to the lit­i­ga­tion. Some of the home­buy­ers have to pay for their rented apart­ments as well as EMIs. The longer it takes for the dis­pute to be re­solved in the Supreme Court the big­ger the loss suf­fered by the home­buy­ers.”

Mit­tal also feels that the refund amount is not suf­fi­cient even at the rate of 14% com­pounded an­nu­ally - as di­rected by the Al­la­habad High Court.

D K Sharma, who has a flat in Apex tower, says ready-to-movein apart­ments in other projects in Sec­tor 93B cost be­tween ` 7500 to ` 8000 per sq ft and there is no project in which “we can get flats at the rate of ` 5000 per sq ft. So we want to fight for the apart­ment. We don’t want a refund.”

How­ever, RWA mem­bers of Su­pertech Emer­ald Court, on whose pe­ti­tion the Al­la­habad High Court passed the de­mo­li­tion or­der, sug­gest that the home­buy­ers of the two tow­ers should get a refund and in­vest the money some­where else.

“I don’t think home­buy­ers will lose any­thing if the de­vel­oper re­funds their money. If some­one bought the project in 2009 at the rate of ` 2900 per sq ft and if he gets the refund at the rate of 14% com­pounded an­nu­ally, his in­vest­ment would have dou­bled – at around ` 5,000 per sq ft,” says Ajay Goel, an RWA mem­ber.

He says he fails to un­der­stand why some home­buy­ers are in­sist­ing on stay­ing in­vested in the project and want to file a pe­ti­tion in the Supreme Court. “The case will go on for sev­eral years and their fi­nan­cial bur­den will go up due to le­gal ex­penses,” he adds

Rahul Rathod, a Noida-based lawyer, says, “The de­vel­oper can make the home­buy­ers wait for a few months as the High Court has given the de­vel­oper four months to give re­funds. If the money is not paid the home­buy­ers can file a con­tempt pe­ti­tion in the Al­la­habad High Court.”

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