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Rs.2 Crores to Petitioner - Bombay High Court

In a land mark judgment the Bombay High Court has ordered a developer and landlord of a Borivli building, either hand over a new flat to petitioner in 12 months or pay nearly Rs.2 Crores in damages. The developer had failed to handover the flat even after eight years after signing of the purchase agreement. Hearing petition filed by Jayesh Sampat, his wife and mother, Justice Gautham Patel, passed the ex-parte order after the landlord and builder failed to turn up in court.

The Court observed that there was no justification for the delay in constructing the building. The judge also said that a “paper order” would serve no purpose and force the petitioner to pursue a long drawn out litigation. Therefore, the High Court, ordered that if there was a default in handing over the flat by January 2015, the developer and the landlord will have to pay damages of Rs.1.87 crore along with interest at 12%.

The Court said that the opposing party (the builder and landlord) “who do not even take the trouble to enter a defence and against whom an ex parte decree is passed, must know that these decrees are not to be taken lightly. Certainly, they cannot be ignored. Nor should a successful plaintiff be asked to leave the court with nothing more than a paper decree in his hands".

The petitioner's brother had rented a flat in Padmalaya building in Borivli. Jayesh's brother was allotted a flat and parking space as part of the redevelopment agreement. The petitioner wanted to live near his brother and signed a purchase agreement with the developer in September 2006, to buy a 1160 sq.ft flat and car parking space on the fifth floor for Rs.29.35 lakh. As per the agreement Jayesh was to get possession of the flat by December 2006, but the construction halted. The developer failed to comply with the notices issued by Jayesh requesting for handing over possession of the flat. Hence, the petitioner approached the High Court in 2010.

The petitioner had paid the first installment of Rs.13.35 Lakhs, was willing to pay the remaining amount and had sought court orders to get the builder to perform his part of the contract.