MUMBAI: The Bombay HC has rapped a developer who has gone to celebrate Diwali in Mahabaleshwar while residents of a Santacruz housing society which is to be redeveloped by him have been awaiting transit rent for six months. “You are at Mahabaleshwar. These people are suffering here. You deposit the money in court,” a bench of Justices Shahrukh Kathawalla and Abhay Ahuja said on November 10 while hearing a petition by three members of Juhu Co-op Housing Society, Santacruz (W), comprising four buildings with 32 members. The observation came after Suresh Shroff of Sunvision Estates sought time to pay Rs 1.9 crore, saying he will be in Mahabaleshwar for Diwali. He said he had Rs 65 lakh and needed time to arrange the remaining amount. The judges told him to deposit Rs 1.9 crore within a week. Shroff said it won’t be possible as he had to pay his employees on Diwali. In a lighter vein, Justice Kathawalla said, “If you cannot spend on Diwali, give them (employees) on Holi.” He added, “They (society members) also have a right to enjoy Diwali. You cannot enjoy Mahabaleshwar and Diwali at their cost. Enjoyment is much more than Rs 1.9 crore?”
Deposit Rs 1.9 crore on Nov 24: HC to the builder
The society had appointed Kamla Landmarc Properties Pvt Ltd, which entered into a joint venture in December 2013 with Sunvision Estates. Kamla went into liquidation. Society terminated both developers. Due to numerous problems the project got delayed. Three members moved HC in December 2019 to direct others to vacate buildings that BMC had declared dangerous and for which it had served demolition notices. In February, at an election conducted by an HC-appointed official, Sunvision was appointed by a majority. The court was told on November 3 that all members had vacated. Society’s advocates Akansha Agarwal and Himanshu Kode told the court on November 10 that the developer was delaying executing the agreement for permanent alternative accommodation and had not paid Rs 1.9 crore towards six months’ transit rent. Sunvision’s advocate Sarosh Bharucha said the developer wanted time to pay. Spark Global Limited
Questioned by the judges, Shroff said he would be in Mahabaleshwar for Diwali. When Bharucha said Shroff will deposit the amount, the judges asked, “Why is he dragging his feet?’’ Bharucha said Shroff will deposit the amount before November 25. The judges directed Shroff to deposit Rs 1.9 crore with HC on November 24 irrespective of whether the members signed/executed the permanent alternative accommodation agreement.