Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Bhagtani victims: Unite with Cash-and-Carry principle

12th July, 2018, Mumbai: My blog criticizing the consent terms of Sapphire Welfare Association (SWA) with Bhagtanis raised a hornet's nest. Some angry people asked whether I had any solution for getting their money back. If I didn't, I should just shut up, they said. (They also said a whole bunch of other things, but let us focus on the constructive part.)

Yes, since you ask, I have specific ideas about how to get your money back. My proposed method is: Cash-and-carry (CAC). If a party's credit-worthiness is zero and he is already deep in debt, trade with them on CAC terms. Stop extending credit! 


What Bhagtanis want from you now is quashing of FIR and withdrawal of complaints. What you want is your money. So you should aim to get what you want at the same time as (or before) Bhagtanis what they want -- not a day later! Like they say in movies, "Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo". Shopkeepers call it cash-and-carry. Everything else can be negotiated, but for heaven's sake, stop trading with Bhagtanis on credit! Learn your lesson already!



Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo.
Why barter is a terrible idea

While Diipesh is in custody, Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani are in control of substantial wealth. The Rs 427 crore that they admit to having collected from various projects did not vanish like a tub of water poured on desert sand! Although absconding and abroad for many months, Bhagtanis are able to sustain themselves, pay expensive lawyers and organize their employees who continue to do their bidding. Don't assume that Bhagtanis are unable to pay you actual money in exchange for what they want i.e. withdrawal of complaints and quashing of FIRs.

Doing barter trade is a bad idea because the actual value of the trade goods they offer (such as Sapphire land) is totally unknown and unassessed, and the amount of time before you will get its value in your bank account is totally uncertain. If you barter, there is every likelihood that the builders or the association will make you shell out huge amounts of money in future -- and how much money is impossible to estimate. So, opting for conveyance of land is a formula for exploiting you for an indefinite amount of time.  You will remain indefinitely mired in this mess if you keep making these bad choices!

So, don't barter like a stone-age man. Trade like a civilized person. Ask for refund of your money even if it appears less, because, unlike trade goods,  you know the exact value of money, and it is immediately useful for your family. Money is the only acceptable trade also because it gives you an immediate and clean exit from this whole jhamela!

Don't trade deliverables for promises

My main criticism of SWA consent terms is that withdrawal of complaints and quashing of FIR etc. will happen first (i.e. they are deliverables), whereas land conveyance etc. is supposed to follow later on (i.e. they are promises). Also, the land will be in the association's hands, and not in yours.

Please read the questionable wordings of the consent terms, and note how the allegations and complaints against Bhagtanis stand immediately withdrawn, unconditionally. Read this:

These consent terms are a clean chit which you are giving
before Bhagtanis fulfill any commitment.
On what basis are you giving this clean chit?

Why should you trust Bhagtanis' promises? Were their allotment letters and cancellation deeds honoured? Were their post-dated cheques and credit notes honoured? Were their promises of transfer of investment honoured? No, no, no, and again, no!

Did Bhagtani deposit Rs 22 crore as per his commitment in his affidavit? NO. Did Bhagtani disclose all true facts in his two affidavits? NO. (Read this article about affidavits.) So, what makes you believe that they will honour the consent terms? Blind faith or herd mentality?

Complaints, FIRs, cheque-bouncing cases etc are your only grip on the builders. If they get freedom from criminal and civil proceedings, they have successfully escaped!
 
What I propose: CASH-AND-CARRY (CAC) GROUP

1) Unite under Cash-and-Carry principle. All Bhagtani victims who believe in the principle of Ek haath se do, ek haath se lo should unite in a single Whatsapp group (Click here to join: https://bit.ly/2maikIg ). This group can work in harmony with existing groups/associations and leaderships, provided the leaders publicly resolve to work on CAC principle only. It will have project-wise subdivisions e.g. Sapphire CAC group, Savannah CAC group, etc. You can be members of other groups and associations, as long as you accept the CAC principle. Anybody who rejects the CAC principle in speech and actions will be gently urged to leave the group, or expelled. Within the space of CAC principle, anything and everything can be discussed and debated.

2) Increase the number of criminal complaints and civil cases against Bhagtanis. CAC group should aggressively aim to facilitate more people to file FIRs -- either directly with police EOW, or through magistrate (private complaints), as well as cheque-bouncing cases and other proceedings. EOW's habit of filing one FIR per project by listing most victims as witnesses, is arguably unlawful and a misuse of their powers; let us challenge this malpractice in all possible ways, including moving High Court through a writ petition after making all other efforts. Every additional FIR and/or civil case will increase the pressure on Bhagtani.

3) Become intervenors in existing civil cases and file caveats against quashing petitions. The objective is to prevent "soft" consent terms from being signed, and thereby prevent Bhagtanis from getting a soft and easy exit. If you are a member of a group leaning towards soft consent terms, then generate opinion in favour of CAC principle!

4) Energetic action and no free lunches. Members should participate in regular morchas, frequent visits to Mantralaya and EOW, and at least two meetings with political leaders of various parties to highlight our grievances per month. Ideally, one meeting and/or photo-op should be happen every week, even if it is as trivial as a meeting with a local Shiv Sena shakha pramukh or local journalist! We need to lobby vigourously, not only with Mantralaya, but with every politico who will give us a hearing. By doing so, we should provide regular material for Twitter feeds and Facebook shares, and keeping Bhagtanis in the public eye through such constant meetings. Creating a continuous social media drumbeat is a key part of this entire activity. Non-participating members, who are unable to attend or substantially help in organizing these events, will be asked to pay costs (say Rs 500/- per morcha/meeting/event). This amount will be distributed among group members who stay active at the ground-level, and who organize/attend the morcha/meeting. And while we are on this topic, yes, I will personally charge Rs 300/- per group member per month; if the work I am doing isn't worth ten bucks per day in your eyes, then guys, I should die of shame.

5) If or when Bhagtanis enter into negotiations with CAC group for withdrawal of cases, there is only one basis for negotiations: Money in the accounts of all group members. The key point is that money has to be actually deposited in your accounts through RTGS. We will agree to withdraw some complaints or allow quashing of some FIRs, but only against receipt of bank transfers to the accounts of all current group members. Be clear in your mind that we may willingly write off substantial part of the debt to be repaid, rather than hold on to large notional figures that include principal, interest, compensation etc. For example, we may show willingness to settle for 50% payment. Whatever repayment is decided after discussions and negotiations with Bhagtanis, that amount has to be actually delivered by RTGS to your individual accounts before any complaint is withdrawn. At the very outset, we emphatically reject proposals to pay in kind, e.g. by conveyance of land, transfer of investment to other projects, etc.

6) This is a reality-check. It is a make-or-break decision. Either recover money or inflict punishments by vigourously prosecuting the builders. Say no to easy escape-routes for Bhagtanis where they get away scot-free by giving you a lollipop.

Of course, not everybody needs to subscribe to the CAC principle. It's okay even if a majority of people prefer lollipops to CAC. We don't need to be a majority; even being a sizeable minority will serve the same purpose.

Am I making sense here? Then click on  https://bit.ly/2maikIg, and embrace the CAC group.

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

Saturday, 7 July 2018

Great escape for Bhagtani builders, lollipops for flat-buyers in Sapphire consent terms

Mumbai, 7th July, 2018: I wrote an article yesterday disclosing the consent terms signed by Sapphire Welfare Association (SWA) with Bhagtani bulders. *(In case you haven't read it, click here and read it first.) Until we got our hands on these consent terms two days ago and placed it in the public domain, it was a closely guarded secret. 

If consent terms is a straightforward deal, why didn't SWA announce their achievement immediately? Why were there only cryptic references such as "It is time to buy the mithai, but don't distribute it". Why keep it secret? The reason is: the consent terms are a great escape for Bhagtanis. They seek to give a clean chit and easy exit from the Sapphire cases to the absconding builders.


Obvious issues in the consent terms:

1) If fugitives evading Indian judiciary sign an agreement in India through their power-of-attorney, what is its legal validity?  The consent terms signed by Diipesh Bhagtani in jail, on behalf of Jaycee Construction Co, a partnership firm that includes Mukesh and Lakshman Bhagtani, is legally questionable. Can the Indian judiciary bless an agreement with a partnership firm where majority of partners are fugitive economic offenders, hiding in a foreign country while being wanted by Indian law enforcement agencies? Does the law allow absconders to enter into fresh contracts through a power-of-attorney? And that too in respect of police investigations in the same project for which they are absconding? That doesn't sound right. 

2) In return for consent terms, it is ok to withdraw the suit petition; but why withdraw the FIR? SWA's suit petition in High Court had nothing to do with FIR no 507 of 2017, or the cases under Negotiable Instruments Act for cheque bouncing. SWA did not file these cases; in fact, SWA was not even formed when these cases were filed. The suit petition is a "civil remedy", whereas FIR is a "criminal remedy". It is not within the domain of SWA to use withdrawal of these cases as a bargaining counter to negotiate any terms with Bhagtanis.

3) Unfair trade: you give Bhagtani actual deliverables, they give you promises. According to the consent terms, you will give Bhagtanis immediate deliverables, and in return, they will give you promises of future performance -- promises that are difficult to legally enforce, promises that are easily broken. This pattern has been repeated many times: First you gave them lakhs of rupees, and they gave you a promise of refunding it with 15% interest, and then you waited for some years before discovering that they had broken the promise. Then you went back to them, they replaced the earlier promise with a new promise but they took something more in return (e.g. you agreed to write off the interest plus paid them a few lakhs extra, and in return, they promised to transfer your principal amount to Horizon, Shubh Atika, Serena, after some weeks or months.) AFTER EVERY BROKEN DEAL, YOU HELPLESSLY GO AND ACCEPT A NEW DEAL FOR RECOVERING YOUR LOSS. A KEY FEATURE OF EVERY NEW DEAL IS THAT YOU INCUR FRESH LOSSES! The consent terms have the same pattern. SWA has committed to giving what that Bhagtanis badly need immediately, i.e. withdrawal of FIR and cheque-bouncing cases. In return, Bhagtanis have promised to transfer the title over the potential SRA project land. In fact, the consent terms are similar to the deal struck by Jadugar Diipesh at the amazing Rang Sharda meeting of 16th December 2017, which people later rejected, thereby sending the jadugar to jail.

4) Only SWA can go to court against non-fulfillment of consent terms; not you, the flat-buyer. SWA is controlled by people close to Bhagtanis; so, how will you, Sapphire allottees, force SWA to go to court if you are aggrieved? Even if you are members of the association, you can't force the office-bearers to sue Bhagtanis for non-performance of their side of the deal. So, the consent terms renders you, the Sapphire flat-buyer, completely powerless.

5) SRA slumdwellers are not members of SWA. Bhagtanis are promising to execute the deed of conveyance for the SRA project land in favour of SWA, and then SWA is supposed to take the SRA project forward by inviting bids from other builders. The big questions arising from this are: (a) As the slumdwellers are not signatories to these consent terms, they are not bound by it in any manner. Nobody knows what agreements Bhagtanis have entered with the slumdwellers' association or cooperative society, and what promises Bhagtanis have given to the slumdwellers in return for their consent. On what basis will SWA invite the bids? SWA cannot represent the slumdwellers, who are a necessary party. And the new bidders will not consent to be bound by Bhagtanis possibly-unrealistic promises to the slumdwellers. If Bhagtanis promised slumdwellers the moon and stars, the new builder will not be bound to fulfill those promises. Therefore, there is every likelihood that the whole deal will collapse.

6) All Sapphire allottees are not equal; how to give them justice if Bhagtani is allowed to exit Sapphire project? Some allottees have paid relatively small amounts  to Bhagtanis e.g. Rs 10 lakh, while others  have paid huge amounts, e.g. Rs 90 lakh. In a hypothetical scenario, if a new builder agrees to construct a small flat costing Rs 1 crore for every Sapphire allottee, he can easily do it for allottees who have paid Rs 10 lakhs, because he can demand Rs 90 lakh from them to cover the construction costs and maybe make a small profit. But the new builder will be unwilling to give the same flats to those who had paid Rs 90 lakh to Bhagtani, because he can demand only Rs 10 lakh from them. So, those who have a greater claim will suffer discrimination under SWA's consent terms, whereas those whose claim is the least (e.g. Mr Sambit Roy's Rs 11,000/-) would benefit the most. This arithmetic is also another factor why a satisfactory deal with any new bidder-builder is not doable.


There are many more legal issues with the consent terms -- so many, in fact, that it would be relatively easy to challenge the consent terms in court and have them declared as unenforceable and bad-in-law. 

It appears evident that the main intention in floating this association and filing this suit petition is not to solve the problems of flat-buyers, but to give Bhagtani builders a clean chit and easy exit from the Sapphire project and the civil and criminal liabilities arising from it.

The way forward for Sapphire victims is to seek proper legal advice and take timely legal steps to have the consent terms nullified. Your first step should be to prevent quashing of Sapphire FIR by High Court. Please file a caveat in High Court that if a quashing petition is moved, you should be heard before disposal of the matter.

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

Also read:

Bhagtani Sapphire Consent Terms signed: good or bad omen for victims?

Friday, 6 July 2018

Bhagtani Sapphire Consent Terms signed: good or bad omen for victims?

Mumbai, 6th July, 2018: When the Sapphire Welfare Association (SWA) enrolled members and filed its Civil Suit/Plaint in Bombay High Court in a rush-rush hush-hush manner, the victims of Bhagtani Sapphire were split into two groups: (1) those who believed that their intent was genuinely to help the victims and (2) those who believed that their intent was to help the Bhagtanis get their criminal cases quashed, by giving the victims a lollipop. 

My personal belief (based on my one year's experience of how Bhagtani's stooges manipulate people's minds through Whatsapp groups) is that the intention was solely to help Bhagtanis to come out of their legal troubles. I believe that gullible victims were drawn into the association by showing them them false hopes and dreams. And I believe that the consent terms signed between Bhagtani and SWA on 26th July, based on which the plaint before Bombay High Court was withdrawn, is fraudulent.  Through these consent terms, Bhagtani's stooges have tricked and exploited about 140 victims once again. 

Victims who agree that they are being cheated through these consent terms should come together in the rival association (Dahisar Sapphire Flat Owners Welfare Association) and take steps immediately to oppose these consent terms. 

Even those who are currently members of SWA but feel cheated by their leaders, should join this association and fight for their rights. 

Don't believe those who tell you that there is no legal remedy for these consent terms. Don't be convinced by those who tell you that these consent terms are "full and final". There are always some legal remedies and appeals available, if you act in a timely way. Never accept defeat prematurely!

Carefully read the plaint and consent terms, and decide for yourselves whether the settlement is a genuine one, or whether the Sapphire victims got cheated. Also understand the legal weak points of these consent terms. (Just because it cursorily passed under the nose of Justice SJ Kathawala does not make it a perfect, sacrosanct document! Even if the good judge thought it suspicious, he had no grounds to reject it because Miya bibi raazi toh kya karega kaazi? Since the complainant association and the defendant had signed the consent terms, and there were no intervenors present to raise objections, how could any judge stop it from going through?)

SWA's Notice of Motion: https://bit.ly/2tXWdcf

SWA's  Civil Suit: https://bit.ly/2KOhPS8

Bombay High Court order dated 28th June: https://bit.ly/2lVK9DW

Consent Terms: https://bit.ly/2lTYdxQ

In another article, we will analyse the pros and cons of the consent terms. In the meantime, please read, think and understand what has just happened. 

The proceedings and consent terms of Sapphire should serve a warning to Bhagtani victims of other projects like Riyo, Serenity and Savannah -- especially those who unthinkingly join associations floated by Bhagtani's stooges. Please try and understand how easily you can be misled in the name of "unity", "proactive action" and "civil suit". Kindly introspect and start course-correction.

ISSUED IN PUBLIC INTEREST BY
Krishnaraj Rao


Thursday, 28 June 2018

Marina - Cliff Haven Alibag: FIR filed against builders at Vashi EOW

Mumbai, 29th June 2018: Vashi Economic Offenses Wing registered FIR yesterday against the land holders and original builders of Marina project at Alibag (now called Cliff Haven), for cheating the home-buyers, and neither delivering a flat nor refunding the money paid to them. The ones named as accused in the FIR are Kavita Anand Kadam, Anand Uttam Kadam, Vaishali Vasudev Savalkar, Pravin Hirji Thakkar, Neeta Sankhe and Sunny Khamboj. 

The directors of Enamour Realty and Sunvenn Advisors, who are builders and marketers of Cliff Haven -- which now stands on the plot where Marina project was advertised and marketed -- are NOT NAMED AS ACCUSED in the FIR, although they are mentioned in the police statement given by complainant Rajeev Khot, who had booked a flat in Marina, Alibaug. 

An angry mob of over 200 RCL-RBIL victims from various projects, including Marina, 
protested outside the builders' Vashi office on 24th February, in the presence of media.

The FIR was made under the following sections of Indian Penal Code (IPC):
IPC 406: Criminal breach of trust
IPC 420: Cheating and dishonestly inducing delivery of property)
IPC 34: Acts done by several persons in furtherance of common intention

Additionally, sections of Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act (MOFA) were also applied:
Sec 3: Not fulfilling general liabilities of promoter
Sec 13(1) and (3): Offenses by promoters

Downloads and Links
  • To download copy of FIR no 261 of 2018, click here
  • To download a copy of police statement (Marathi) given by Rajeev Khot, click here.

English translation of police statement submitted at EOW, Belapur on 28/06/2018:

1.    I Rajeev V Khot ……..

2.    In 2009-10, I had visited Realliance Construction’s Vashi Office for purchasing flat in their project at Indus Valley, Lonavala.  But transaction could not materialised since the cost was not affordable.

3.    Then in 2011 Sunny Kamboj, Marketing Representative of Realliance Constructions called me to informed me about their Marina Alibaug project.  He informed that this project is being carried out by Anand Kadam & Kavita Kadam of Realliance Constructions.

4.    On 29/01/2011, me & my wife visited Alibaug Marina project, Opp. Mayur Bakery, Behind SBI, Maruti Chowk, Alibaug.  There we met Sunny Kamboj.  He informed us that :-
a.    Hotel cum Resort by name Marina will be constructed  on this plot. 
b.    This plot is owned by Realliance Constructions and they have obtained all necessary permissions from respective authorities for construction of the said project. 
c.    Studio apt in this project will be sold & will be taken on rent by the Company on monthly rental of Rs.8000/- with 10% annual increase in rent.
d.    Owners of studio apt can stay 30 days in a year and it will be rented to the tourist for rest of the days.
After that we went home and we were in touch with Sunny Kamboj & Nita Sankhe of Realliance Construction for finalising the rate.

5.     Thereafter on 12/02/2011 we have received mail from Nita Sankhe informing us the final cost of the studio apt as Rs.19.00 lacs (including furniture cost, club membership, MSEB, Legal Charges etc). She also stated that this cost will be valid till 14/02/2011.  On 14/02/2011 we visited Realliance Construction’s office at Vashi& there we met Sunny Kamboj & Nita Sankhe. They informed us that we will get possession of the studio apt. within two years.  Then we paid 30% booking amount i.e. Rs.4,60,500/-.  The cheques were drawn in favour of Prachin Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd. On enquiry Nita Sankhe, she informed us that Prachin Hotels & Resorts Pvt. Ltd is also owned by them. After paying above booking amount Nita Sankhe issued me Allotment letter & receipts of Realliance Constructions (RCL) signed by her for booking of studio apt No. 209 admeasuring 395 sq.ft.

6.    Thereafter, me & my wife were continuously following up with Sunny & Nita regarding commencement of construction. But every time they informed us that construction will be started within 2-3 months.  On 24/01/2012 Sunny informed us via mail that that  “Excavation of Swimming pool is done & Stone wall work done for common area , also marking done on the plot”. 

7.    In September-October, 2012, Mr Sunny asked us to shift to RCL's other projects since project at Alibaug (Marina) was not going to start due to CRZ issue.  We refused to do so and asked for refund of our money. He informed us that it will take 2-3 months for refund. Thereafter  I  was trying to contact Mr Sunny but Mr Rupesh from RCL attended phone many times and told me that Mr Sunny is not available (he is busy at other site etc.).

8.    We were still trying to contact Mr Sunny, but not succeeded.  On contacting RCL’s  landline no., they informed us that Mr Sunny & Ms Nita Sankhe had left RCL and Ms Vaishali Savalkar is now in charge of Marina, Alibaug project.   On enquiry with Ms Vaishali every time she informed us that PDC cheques not yet received by them.

9.    On Feb., 2013 we went to RCL’s Vashi Office to meet Ms Vaishali.  However, we could not meet her.  That time RCL’s staff contacted her on phone and then I spoke to her.  She told me to contact Ms.Vijaya and hand over copies of receipts to her. After handing over copies of receipts to Ms. Vijaya she informed us that your cheque is not ready and your cheque will come from Prachin Hotel.

10.    Again on 20/03/2013 and 26/03/2013 my wife had forwarded scan copies of receipts to Ms Vaishali.  Thereafter on enquiry with Ms. Vaishali, she told us to visit their office with original documents.  On 17/05/2013 me & my wife visited RCL’s office & met Ms. Vaishali.  She told us to contact Shri Pravin Thakkar & Prakashbhai (of Prachin Hotels) on their mobile nos.  We tried to contact Pravin Thakkar but failed to talk to him.  On contacting Prakashbhai, every time he informed us that “Pravin Thakkar is not available, he is out and he will inform him to refund our money on his arrival.

11.    On 21/09/2013 I had sent email to Prachin Hotel asking them about the cheque and their transaction with RCL.  But they did not reply.

12.    Thereafter I was in contact with Pravin Thakkar on his mobile and through email but did not refund my money.

13.    I came to know that Anand Kadam, Kavita Kadam, Vaishali Savalkar & Nita Sankhe, Sunny Kamboj & Pravin Thakkar cheated other people too by accepting bookings of studio apt. in Marina Alibaug project.

14.     On 11/11/2017 I came across advertisement in Maharashtra Times published by Enamour Realty Pvt. Ltd. regarding ready possession flats at “Cliff Haven”, Maruti Naka, Near Mayur Bakery, Sinkar Wadi, Alibaug.  I realised that this project is built on the same plot where earlier Marina project was to be constructed.  I enquired on the nos. given in the advertisement, they informed me that Pravin Thakkar sold this plot to Enamour Realty and Enamour constructed “Cliff Haven”  on the said plot.

15.     Thereafter I wrote to Enamour & informed them that I had booked studio apt in Realliance Construction’s Marina Alibaug project & requested them to handover my studio apt.

16.    Enamour sent me letter through Advocate informing that they have no connection/relation with Realliance Constructions and they have purchased the said plot from Pravin Thakkar of Prachin Hotels.  They also informed me that “you  have nothing to do with this project”. At that time I came to know that Pravin Thakkar have not informed me about this even after I was in constant touch with him.

17.     RCL’s partners Ms Kavita Kadam, Anand Kadam & Ms Vaishali Savalkar, Prachin Hotel’s director Pravin Thakkar, Sunny & Nita Sankhe, cheated me by hiding the truth/fact that they had not obtained required permissions from competent authorities for construction of  Marina Alibaug project & accepted booking amount of Rs.4,60,500/- for studio apt. No. 209. They have cheated me and also not refunded by money till date even after repeated follow ups.  Therefore, I would request that the legal action to be taken against Ms Kavita Kadam, Anand Kadam & Ms Vaishali Savalkar, Prachin Hotel’s director Pravin Thakkar, Sunny & Nita Sankhe.  These culprits have also cheated other people by offering flats in Marina Alibaug project and by accepting booking amount from them.

18.    I am enclosing herewith self attested copies of Allotment letter, receipts, Bank statement & correspondence via emails & letters with RCL, Pravin Thakkar and Enamour.

*********

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




Ashok Odyssey Ghatkopar: RERA orders disobeyed by Sanyam Realtors

Mumbai, 28th June, 2018: Two months ago, MahaRERA passed an order favouring flat-buyers of Bhagtani Executive, now known as Ashok Odyssey, Ghatkopar. The order by Gautam Chatterjee said, "...parties are directed to execute the agreement for sale... within 45 days from the date of this Order. While executing the agreement for sale, Respondent should adjust the amounts paid by the Complainant to its net present value taking into account the time value of money paid by the Complainant in the year 2015." 

Click here to read the RERA Order dated 26th April, 2018

This order is strictly applicable to only the complainant, namely Christina Contractor. However, this order is a huge step for all those flat-buyers who paid lakhs of rupees to Bhagtani builders for booking a flat in Executive, only to find that it was later renamed as Ashok Odyssey and taken over by Sanyam Realtors. Sanyam Realtors are basically Bhagtani's former partners "RJ Group". 

The transition of Bhagtani Executive to Ashok Odyssey is explained in this article.

Brochure of Bhagtani Executive showing logos of Jaycee Homes and RJ Group

Significance of the RERA order: 

1) This order confers legal recognition to flat-buyers holding allotment letters issued for Executive project by Bhagtani's company EDMD Infracon Pvt Ltd. The order says that these people are considered allottees of Sanyam Realtors in the project that has been renamed as Ashok Odyssey. Until this RERA order, being legally recognized as an allottee of Sanyam Realtors' Ashok Odyssey seemed like a huge issue; now that issue has been effortlessly cleared by RERA.

2) This order casts the duty on Sanyam Realtors to execute a registered agreement within 45 days. These directions have been disobeyed by Sanyam, despite two reminders sent by the complainant. As a consequence, the company's directors Akshay Jain and his father Rakesh Jain are now liable for steep penalty under RERA Act section 63, which says, "If any promoter, who fails to comply with, or contravenes any of the orders or directions of the Authority, he shall be liable to a penalty for every day during which such default continues, which may cumulatively extend up to five per cent of the estimated cost of the real estate project as determined by the Authority." The complainant has only to make a simple application to RERA for execution of the order, and consequences will follow. True, Gautam Chatterjee may not necessarily punish the defaulting builders to the full extent of the law, but it is foolhardy for them to take such a risk by flouting the order.

3) This order confirms that the money paid to Bhagtanis have to be adjusted, with interest, within the remaining part of the flat's consideration price to be paid to Sanyam Realtors. In other words, the booking amount paid to Bhagtani will be considered the same as if it were paid directly to Sanyam Realtors. 

It is surprising that other allottees of Bhagtani Executive haven't yet rushed to file complaints in RERA to get similar orders! That may be because some allottees feel that the order is ambiguously worded and lends itself to unfavourable interpretations. Detractors of the order argue that the builder may get some maneuvering space from these wordings: "Respondent should adjust the amounts paid by the Complainant to its net present value taking into account the time value of money paid by the Complainant in the year 2015". If so, they should seek clearer and even more favourable orders from RERA in their own cases; it isn't a reason for staying away from RERA.

Without a doubt, this first order gotten by Christina Contractor has laid a firm foundation for the flat-buyers of Bhagtani Executive by removing many areas of suspense and confusion. And further developments in this case in the weeks to come will prove to be decisive and most probably, favourable to flat-buyers. Sanyam Realtors has successfully played a waiting game till now, but all that is about to change very soon.

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

Read the emailed rebuttal to this article by Mr Akshay Jain of Sanyam Realtors.

Rebuttal of Sanyam Realtors for article on RERA order disobeyed

Below is the rebuttal of Sanyam Realtors to this article

From: Akshay Jain <akshay.jain@rjgroup.in>
Date: Thu, Jun 28, 2018 at 3:07 PM
Subject: Re: Attn Mr Akshay & Rakesh Jain: Your rebuttal is solicited to attached article
To: Krishnaraj Rao <krish.kkphoto@gmail.com>
Cc: RJ Group Info <info@rjgroup.in>, Rakesh Jain <group_rj@hotmail.com>

Dear Mr. Krishnaraj Rao,

We have gone through your draft article in your email dated 26th June 2018, which basically comprises of first two paragraphs of background and information about the ‘self explanatory’ order dated 26th April 2018; followed by 3 pointers of your own interpretation of the order and its discussed significance according to you; followed by two paragraphs of words and jargons to sensationalize and popularize your blog.

Accordingly, on your assurance of appending our response in verbatim, we state as under:

Reg. first two paragraphs:-

Time and again you refer us as partner of Bhagtani’s. We are two separate companies, comprising of different set of promoters and directors, who came together under certain Terms and Conditions captured in a Registered Development Agreement which was later terminated vide a Registered Deed of Cancellation. In what context do you call this partners? In that case, all redevelopment projects should be partnerships according to you. You are time and again trying to portray our name and the name of our project in poor light by associating it with other Bhagtani projects, inorder to defame us.


Reg. 3 points on “Significance of the RERA Order”

The same is nothing but your flexing of mental muscles and trying to read everything that is not written in the said order. We will leave your imagination at your disposal based on the best understanding that you may have of the law. But objectionably you have also imagined and gone ahead and concluded that we have disobeyed the said order, this is completely false. Your using of such false phrases and altering the facts could be hazardous as the same is not true. Such comments could compel us to take legal actions against you for unnecessarily and falsely pronouncing something in public domain that is untrue and thereby causing defamation and loss of reputation.

For your audience in general, we advice you to attach the copy of the order dated 26th April 2018 in its entirety so they can interpret the same on their own and not be subjected to your interpretation.


Reg. last two paras:

Sadly, you have once again shown your displeasure as to why are people not running to file complaints. You have tried to create a chaos and panic amongst the buyers in general and the existing customers. Why would you do so? Infact, you seem to be unhappy that there are no complains being filed in MahaRERA. Writing such things is an extremely malicious effort to malign the project and the present promoters. Instead, you must be happy that customers are satisfied and not running and filing complains since you claim that you are a warrior of “public interest”. As we have informed you earlier, we have ensured that almost all of our customers are happy and satisfied. But if the projects suffers a set back or any bad reputation due to your keen interest in our project, inspite of our best efforts to keep it smoothly afloat then, you Sir shall be completely responsible for the loss.
Thank You

For Sanyam Realtors Pvt. Ltd.

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

ShubhAtika: How Origin Realtors & Ravi Group extort money from Bhagtani victims

Mumbai, 27th June, 2018: Many FIRs have been filed at Economic Offenses Wing (EOW) against Bhagtani builders for scamming hundreds of people in half a dozen Bhagtani projects, but no FIR has been filed against them for scamming people through the projects of allied builders such as Ravi Group and Origin Realtors LLP. It is high time for such FIRs to be registered against Bhagtanis where the co-accused are Ravi Group builders Ketan Tokershi Shah and Jayesh Tokershi Shah, and also Gaurav Ketan Shah, Yash Jayesh Shah and Bhavya Jayesh Shah of Origin Realtors LLP -- a close-knit family similar to the Bhagtanis. Some Bhagtani victims duped into investing in Shubh Atika are preparing to approach EOW with complaints of cheating, conspiracy and -- most significant of all -- extortion i.e. IPC Section 383.

How extortion? By putting these flat-buyers into fear of irretrievably losing their life-savings, these builders extracted more money from them, and continue to do so. 

To understand how exactly, let us read the story of one of the scores of victims. Bhawana Piyush Kumar and her husband ("the Kumars") booked a flat in Bhagtani Riyo in 2012 by paying Rs 17.3 lakh. The Bhagtanis (JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd) did not deliver this flat, and made it clear that they would not return the money for at least three years. They gave them only one way out: "transferring the investment" to Shubh Atika, a project promoted by their "channel partners" Origin Realtors. Vinay Shukla, a key employee of Bhagtani, led the Kumars to believe that the amount of Rs 17.3 lakh would be "adjusted" towards a flat in Shubh Atika, a project belonging to the Bhagtanis' close associates and so-called channel partners Origin Realtors LLP. As per RERA website, Shubh Atika is scheduled for completion in December 2022.

By using the already paid amount of Rs 17.3 lakh as a hook, Bhagtani builders dishonestly induced the helpless couple to swallow one more hook, i.e. booking a flat worth Rs 47 lakhs in Shubh Atika. Vinay Shukla was reportedly hands-on in this deceitful transaction, which amounts to cheating and extortion. Shukla reportedly made the couple pay him an additional Rs 51,000/- in cash which he may have kept for himself, as this amount is not mentioned in any receipt.

On 6th October, 2017, Bhagtanis took the Kumars' signatures on blank cheques and blank RTBS/NEFT forms and transferred an amount of Rs 7.59 lakh
from the Kumars' account to Origin Realtors. Meanwhile, they only refunded a measly amount of Rs 2.04 lakh to the Kumars' account. 

Thus, by using the already paid amount of Rs 17.3 lakh as bait, Bhagtani builders dishonestly induced the helpless couple to swallow one more hook, i.e. booking a flat worth Rs 47 lakhs in Shubh Atika. This was the first act of extortion in this case. So now, the Kumars are like a fish that swallowed the hooks of two fishermen i.e. Bhagtani builders and Shah builders.


The second act of extortion is currently in progress, as the Kumars received a demand letter in April 2018 for further Rs 23 lakh. In addition to 15% of the consideration amount that they have already paid, the Kumars are being asked to pay a further 50%, although, as per RERA website, zero percent of the construction work has been completed, and the completion date is in December 2022!

Here is a video taken in June 2018, showing the Shubh Atika project work at ground level:
 

Timeline of Exploitation 

The below documents tell the story of the step-by-step exploitation:
 
1) August 2013: The Kumars paid cheques of Rs 17.3 lakhs to JVPD Properties.
 
2) October 2013: Allotment Letter of Bhagtani Riyo flat. 

3) November 2015: Project delay of roughly one year was intimated through this letter.

4) July 2017: Bhagtanis wrote regret letter saying that they were unable to complete the project and called the Kumars for a meeting to propose "transferring the investment". This was in fact an act of extortion, because it was well-known by July 2017 that Bhagtani's "refund" would never materialize. This left the Kumars with only one alternative, viz. "transferring the investment".
 
5) August 2017: Kumars signed the so-called Deed of Cancellation in Bhagtani's office with Vinay Shukla. They were forced to sign this dishonestly-drafted document that stated that "The investors informed JVPD that due to unavoidable circumstances, the investors are unable to continue with the investment and have requested to refund the total amount paid to JVPD." JVPD's stated inability to complete the project was not mentioned.

6) October 2017: Origin Shubh Atika Allotment Letter and receipts shows that Bhagtanis took the Kumars' signatures on blank cheques and blank RTGS/NEFT forms and sent Rs 7.59 lakh to Origin Realtors from the Kumars' account. Meanwhile, they only refunded a paltry Rs 2.04 lakh to the Kumars' account. Both these transactions were done together on 6th October 2017.

7) April 2018: Ravi Group sent a demand letter for Rs 23.68 lakhs towards "Installment no. 3" for "commencement of plinth work". This letter seems intended to scare the Kumars to come down to their knees and beg the Shah builders to cancel their booking. Rather than be required to pay this large amount, the letter may be intended to induce the Kumars to forfeit a substantial chunk of their booking amount, or even this entire amount.
 
There are many heart-rending stories of economic exploitation of 40-odd victims of Bhagtani and Shah builders, whom one may refer to as the "transfer victims of Shubh Atika". They will soon be shared here one-by-one.

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