Has Noida Au­thor­ity flouted Apart­ment Act?

Af­ter claim­ing in High Court that the lay­out plan of a pro­ject in Noida was not re­vised, the Au­thor­ity ap­proved it six days later

HT Estates - - FRONT PAGE - Jee­van Prakash Sharma

Sec­tion 4 (4) of the Ut­tar Pradesh Ap a r t m e n t A c t 2010 has been cre­ated to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of in­vestors in residential projects in the state. Builders can­not make any changes in the lay­out plans once apart­ments in a pro­ject have been sold. In­ter­est­ingly, in a case that seems to be get­ting com­pli­cated by the day, Noida Au­thor­ity, in­stead of safe­guard­ing the in­ter­ests of home­buy­ers, seems to have gone out of its way to en­dorse a pro­ject in which the Act has been flouted. Not only that, the Au­thor­ity’s lawyer also made a state­ment in Al­la­habad High Court (HC) on April 30, 2015 that the lay­out plan had not been amended, but, in a great hurry, ap­proved it within six days of mak­ing the state­ment.

The HC had dis­missed a case filed by Mo­hin­der Ku­mar Bhatla and Avi­ral Bhatla, joint al­lot­tees of an apart­ment in Jaypee Kristal Court in Sec­tor 128, Noida, pe­ti­tion­ing against part of the pro­ject be­ing sold to the builder Ma­h­a­gun, for a new pro­ject, Ma­h­a­gun Mano­rial. The changes in the pro­ject plans had been made with­out their (al­lot­tees’) per­mis­sions ( as per the Act), the Bhat­las al­leged.

The pe­ti­tion­ers had smelt a di­vided i n two parts – the orig­i­nal Kristal Court ex­isted but was smaller with just four tow­ers while the space for the other tow­ers was al­lo­cated for Ma­h­a­gun Mano­rial.

“The whole lay­out plan was dras­ti­cally changed and the five tow­ers of Kristal Court were re­placed with six new tow­ers of Ma­h­a­gun Mano­rial, and their floors in­creased from 20 to 26 to 40 to 45. Sec­tion 4( 4) of the Apart­ment Act 2010 clearly states that con­sent of all the al­lot­tees is manda­tory be­fore change in a pro­ject’s orig­i­nal plan.It was then that the Bhat­las de­cided to move to the Al­la­habad High Court,” says SK Pal, Bhat­las’ ad­vo­cate.

Dur­ing the hear­ing, on April 30, 2015, Noida Au­thor­ity’s lawyer Shivam Ya­dav told the

Court that the lay­out plan of Jaypee Greens’ Kristal Court pro­ject had nei­ther been re­vised nor amended. This was the ba­sis for the dis­missal of the Bhat­las’ case, as HC saw no merit in con­tin­u­ing with since the Au­thor­ity had claimed that no changes or re­vi­sion had been made.

Sur­pris­ingly, six days af­ter t he case dis­missal, Noida Au­thor­ity al­lowed the split of the Kristal Court pro­ject. Re­quests for ap­provals came in long be­fore, ie March 31, 2015, but the Au­thor­ity did not in­form the court about it dur­ing the hear­ing on April 30, 2015. “When the re­quest for the change of plan (Jaypee Kristal Court) to cre­ate a new pro­ject was pend­ing be­fore the Noida Au­thor­ity, it should have in­formed the HC that the pro­posal for an amend­ment was pend­ing with it. This shows mala fide in­ten­tion on the part of the Au­thor­ity,” says Pal.

Now, in a strongly- worded let­ter to Rama Ra­man, CEO, Noida Au­thor­ity, Mo­hin­der Ku­mar Bhatla has said, “To my ut­ter sur­prise I was shocked to see an ad­ver­tise­ment in the news­pa­per by Ma­h­a­gun that Noida Au­thor­ity has ap­proved the Ma­h­a­gun Mano­rial Pro­ject as per l et­ter num­ber 2015/ III – 293/785 dated 06/05/2015. It ap­pears that Noida au­thor­ity has not briefed its learned coun­sel of the fact that you were con­sid­er­ing the ap­proval of this Pro­ject in Pocket 9 B, Sec­tor 128, Noida, as per the re­quest let­ter dated 31-03-2015 sent by Messers Jaypee In­frat­ech Ltd.”

In his let­ter, Bhatla has re­pro­duced the Al­la­habad HC or­der, which says the coun­sel of the De­vel­op­ment Au­thor­ity has made a state­ment that NOIDA Au­thor­ity has nei­ther re­vised nor amended nor sanc­tioned any fresh lay­out plan in the pro­ject in which the pe­ti­tioner claims to be one of the ap­pli­cants for al­lot­ment of an apart­ment. “In the cir­cum­stances, the al­le­ga­tions made by the pe­ti­tioner that ini­tial lay out plan has been amended by bi­fur­ca­tion/ di­vi­sion/ al­ter­ation does not stand. That be so, we do not find any merit in this pe­ti­tion war­rant­ing in­ter­fer­ence in writ ju­ris­dic­tion. It is ac­cord­ingly dis­missed,” the HC had said.

Bhatla also re­quested the Noida Au­thor­ity CEO to “im­me­di­ately in­form the court that the state­ment made by your coun­sel is not cor­rect as the ap­pli­ca­tion for Ma­h­a­gun Mano­rial was pend­ing at that point of time and up­date me about the same. In case you fail to do I would be forced to ap­proach the Honourable High Court and pro­ceed ac­cord­ingly.”

Now the ques­tion is: why did Noida Au­thor­ity tell the court that the ini­tial lay­out plan of Jaypee Green Group Hous­ing So­ci­ety had not been amended when a pro­posal for such an amend­ment was pend­ing be­fore it?

There was no re­sponse to an email sent by this cor­re­spon­dent to Rama Ra­man, CEO, Noida Au­thor­ity for his clar­i­fi­ca­tions.

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