Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Beware of EXCHANGE OFFERS of Bhagtani Builder - JVPD Properties - Jaycee Homes - MD Devcon

Mumbai, 30th August, 2017: There's a saying, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me!” This applies to those who sank money into Bhagtani builders’ various real estate projects, and are now struggling to get it back again. During July and August 2017, investors/flat-buyers of Bhagtani builders' properties received letters that gave vague reasons for non-completion of the project, and then said, “we would like to have a meeting with you in person to propose certain options for transferring the investment or for the refund”. These letters, on the letterhead of Jaycee Construction Co, were sent to investors of JVPD Properties, Jaycee Homes, MD Devcon etc.

Here is a specimen of one such letter:


The excuses offered for non-completion of different schemes varied, but the main point was always the same: Come to our office and meet us. It reminds you of those lines from the famous poem: “’Will you walk into my parlour?' said the Spider to the Fly."


People who went to Bhagtani builder’s office for these meetings were presented with two options: either “transfer the investment” to a different real estate project. Alternatively, they were told to simply sign a “cancellation deed” in return for a written promise of refund of their booking amount with 15% interest after a couple of years. 

Buyers MUST NOT ACCEPT either of the offers. And here are the reasons why.

The offer to “transfer their investment” to another project ALWAYS, WITHOUT FAIL, REQUIRES THE INVESTOR TO POUR IN MORE OF HIS HARD-EARNED MONEY.  Since the market value of the flats being offered in this exchange offer is always more than the value of the flat that they have booked, an investor is always asked to put in another 8-10 lakhs, if not more. 

Please think clearly: If your original investment with Bhagtani builder is already at risk of becoming a bad-debt, why should you give even more money to the same builder? Or even to a different builder associated with him?

Bhagtani’s smooth-talking office staff is full of tricks to convince gullible investors. Some investors of Bhagtani Savannah have been offered exchange flats in Bhagtani Sapphire; meanwhile, investors of Sapphire were told to transfer their investment to Savannah! How does that make sense? If investors say they have lost faith in this builder's projects, they are given the alternative of transferring their investment to projects of other builders. The catch is, you will always have to put in a lot of more money, and of course, you will have to sign the builder's Cancellation Deed.


CLICK HERE to read a Cancellation Deed. Reasons why buyers must not sign the Cancellation Deed are elaborated in this article
In a nutshell, Cancellation Deed is full of clauses that make the flat-purchaser return all their original documents (especially allotment letter and receipts), and give a clean chit to the builder. Signing the cancellation deed amounts to giving up your legal rights for going to court against this builder, who has cheated you and pocketed your life savings -- typically ranging between Rupees eight lakhs to Rs 70 lakhs. It also makes you pledge not to file a complaint or write anything against the builder in the media or social media forums.
Over 2,000 buyers and investors are currently trying to recover their money, with or without the 15% interest promised to them. Even those who are willing to let go of the 15% interest are getting only empty promises and cheques that bounce; they are not getting their money back. After hearing dozens of explanations and excuses from the builder’s sales office, people have lost all hope that these real estate projects will be completed. Various lame stories (change of laws, RERA, DC Rules, Development Plans, etc.) are given by the office staff for the non-completion of Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar East), Bhagtani Serenity and Bhagtani Krishaang (Powai), Bhagtani Riyo (Mira Road), Bhagtani Savannah (Kanjurmarg East) and Executive (Ghatkopar West). All the stories may sound very convincing when you hear them from the well-trained sales staff, and it sounds even more convincing when Dipesh or Mukesh Bhagtani tell it.

But whatever be the story, and whoever tells you that story, don't be fooled by the same builder twice! Otherwise, shame on you!

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

Thursday, 24 August 2017

Flat Buyers, Don’t sign Sale-Cancellation-Deed of Jaycee Homes - JVPD Properties - Bhagtani Builders


24th August, 2017: Our previous article was about how the Allotment Letter issued by builders Dipesh and Mukesh Bhagtani (JVPD Properties, Jaycee Homes, MD Devcon, etc.) is full of cunningly drafted clauses for cheating people who book the flats. This present article is about why buyers MUST NOT SIGN the Cancellation Deed even after informing Bhagtani builders that they want their money back. Because the Cancellation Deed and all related documents are cleverly worded to deprive the flat-purchaser of all their evidences and their legal rights!

It is well known in the market that all the Bhagtani realty projects are traps for unwary flat-purchasers / investors. People who invested lakhs of rupees for booking flats in Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar East), Bhagtani Serenity and Bhagtani Krishaang (Powai), Bhagtani Riyo (Mira Road), Bhagtani Savannah (Kanjurmarg East) and Executive (Ghatkopar West) are now trying to recover their money, with or without the 15% interest promised to them. After hearing dozens of explanations and excuses from the builder’s sales office, people have lost all hope that these real estate projects will be completed. 

In spite of this, the sales office keeps issuing call letters asking many investors to pay the next instalment; the allotment letter earlier issued clearly mentions that if the investor does not pay the instalment on time, he will forfeit the booking amount and/or be charged 21% penal interest! Naturally, to stop this extortion, a flat-buyer who has lost faith in the project will inform the sales office that he wants to cancel the flat booking, and wants all his money back with 15% interest as promised. 

The sales office then starts playing many mind-games and legal games with the flat buyer.

Game # 1: TOOTHLESS TIGER

When a flat-buyer says that he wants to cancel the deal, a new drama begins: Bhagtani’s sales office tells him that his money will be refunded only after he signs a cancellation deed. This may sound legitimate, but actually, it isn’t! Because the cancellation deed is cleverly worded in such a way that it lets the builder escape all his legal obligations, and converts the aggrieved buyer into a toothless tiger! If you sign the cancellation deed, you have to surrender all your original signed documents, including allotment letter and receipts. Also, you have to pledge never to exercise any of your legal options including going to any legal forum or approaching the media. Keep in mind that you have to proclaim that the builder is now free to resell the flat that you had booked. Also, you have to proclaim that you are cancelling your flat-booking due to your own personal reasons (and not because of the builder’s failure to complete the project and give possession of your flat). Please note, you are required to do all this and give the builder a clean chit without the builder repaying a single paisa of your booking amount!!!

In return, the builder’s sales office will only give you a “receipt” that is to be signed by you, which actually states that they will start repaying your money after a year or even later. Please note, this document does not create any legal obligation on the builder to actually pay you, because it is signed by you, not by the builder.

And in the end, even after signing the cancellation deed, you will not get back your money! After waiting for a couple of years, you will realize that you have been fooled, and now, since you have returned the original documents and given the builder a clear chit, you are officially a toothless, clawless tiger! 

 

Please remember, nobody respects a tiger without its teeth and claws. If a toothless tiger goes to the police or court or any other authority for help, he will be told, “Did anybody hold your hand and force you to sign these papers? Did anybody force you to sign at gunpoint? Are you illiterate or are you blind? Are you a child? Why did you sign? Why did you voluntarily allow your teeth and claws to be removed?” Courts cannot help someone who voluntarily renounces his/her legal rights and remedies, and gives up his original documents and receipts. If you say that you were forced to do so, the courts will ask you how you were forced; and you will be compelled to admit that you were just stupid and ignorant. (RERA may help, but you will have to make out your case properly.)

Be warned: Bhagtani’s office staff specializes in exploiting your psychology and short-sightedness, and convincing you to sign papers and perform various actions that will stop you from going to any legal forum for enforcement of your rights.

CLICK HERE to read a copy of cancellation deed for Bhagtani Riyo.

Game # 2: LAW OF LIMITATIONS

After the Cancellation Deed is signed, the Bhagtani builders always delay for months and years in starting the repayment. There is a method in this madness. The reason for this deliberate delay in refunds is: the Law of Limitations. There are various limitation periods for litigation against cheating, bounced cheques, civil suits for recovery of dues, compelling the performance of contracts, etc. Every passing week and month that you fail to litigate makes you weaker. If you land up in court three years later and plead that the builder owes you a lot of money, the judge will ask, “Why didn’t you come within the limitation period? Why did you delay so much? Your excuses are not acceptable! Now we will not admit your suit, because the limitation period is over!”

Game # 3: PSYCHOLOGICAL MANIPULATION

Aggrieved investors/flat-buyers form associations and groups on Facebook, Whatsapp and other online and offline forums. But are you sure that everybody in the group is genuine? It is easy for builders to ensure that their own stooges (who may also have papers showing that they have booked some flats) become prominent in such associations and forums. Stooges may act out many roles, including becoming your personal advisors, arranging meetings with the Bhagtanis or their “senior management” for negotiations (which are basically delaying tactics), recommending a “good lawyer” for you (who mislead, demotivate and delay you), sidelining the genuine group leaders, sidetracking meaningful discussions, suppressing outspoken group members, etc. Stooges may show that the builder has returned their money, and therefore, their methods are effective. By talking about group unity, these stooges may encourage herd mentality and persuade determined individuals not to approach appropriate forums like RERA and National Consumer Redressal Forum. They may persuade you not to approach the media, as it will amount to “defaming the builder”. Associations and online groups are useful for sharing information, but please keep in mind that they can be used for psychologically manipulating you, because the rewards for successfully misleading or delaying even one flat-purchaser are huge! 

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

Friday, 18 August 2017

Despite MahaRERA, Buyers of Bhagtani Builder are struggling to recover money

Mumbai, 18th August, 2017: Thousands of flat-purchasers are trapped like fishes caught in a net by Bhagtani builders and their companies including Jaycee Construction Co, Jaycee Homes Pvt. Ltd, and and JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd. People who booked flats in Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar East), Bhagtani Serenity and Bhagtani Krishaang (Powai), Bhagtani Riyo (Mira Road), Bhagtani Savannah (Kanjurmarg East) and Executive (Ghatkopar West) are now regretting their decision, because they are being systematically cheated and exploited. Diipesh and Mukesh Bhagtani are cheating gullible purchasers – many of whom work abroad and therefore unaware of the pitfalls of Indian property market. The 20-odd real estate companies belonging to the Bhagtani family are located at 501, 5th Floor, Prime Plaza, Next to Asha Parekh Hospital, S V Road, Santacruz West. Employees of these companies are knowingly or unknowingly part of an organized crime disguised as legitimate building activity.



Click here to see video of investors demonstrating outside project site of Bhagtani Sapphire, Dahisar East.

Click here to see video of investors confronting builder Mukesh Bhagtani outside his residence.

Below, we tell you the story of one investor.

STORY OF INVESTORS WHO BOOKED FLATS IN BHAGTANI SAPPHIRE, DAHISAR:
  1. Payment and booking. On 9th November, 2012, Deepak Chopra* (name changed to protect identity) booked a flat in Bhagtani Sapphire by paying Rs 21 lakhs approx -- roughly 30% of the total consideration of Rs 70 lakhs. (According to MOFA section 4, the builder must enter into registered agreement for sale after accepting 20% advance.) Deepak's brothers also booked flats in Sapphire.

  2. Receipt and Allotment Letter. On 25th April, 2013, Jaycee Construction Co issued receipts and a letter of "Provisional Allotment" dated 3rd October 2012. As the allotment letter was given many months after the huge advance payment, the buyer could not reject the discriminatory clauses which give escape routes to the builder while binding the buyer to a very unfair deal!

  3. No progress on project, so buyers decide to cancel. In December 2015, seeing no progress in the project, Deepak and his brothers decided to cancel their booking and take refund. However, the Bhagtanis did not respond to any communications.

  4. Police complaint. After filing a complaint to police higher-ups in June 2016, and recording his official statement at Santacruz Police Station, Deepak received a call from JayCee Homes for discussion. 

  5. Builder agreed to cancel booking, refund amount with interest. On 11th July 2016, Dipesh Bhagtani agreed for cancellation, on the condition that interest would be paid only till July 2016, although the payment would be made by post-dated cheques between November 2016 and January 2017.

  6. Builder took back original allotment letter and payment receipts, took signatures on cancellation documents, and gave post-dated cheques. On 25th July’16, Deepak and his brothers visited Jaycee Homes office for cancellation, returned the original copy of allotment letter and payment receipts. They were given current-dated cheques towards refund of Service Tax amounts paid by them (Rs.62,882/- + Rs. 38794/- + Rs. 39,978/-), five cheques post-dated for November 2016 and 17 cheques dated for January 2017. Copies of the documents that they had signed for cancellation were not given.

  7. Post-dated cheques started bouncing. Cheques towards Service Tax were cleared in July. In November 2016, three cheques of Rs. 6.78 lakhs bounced due to insufficient funds. Deepak was called to return the bounced cheques and take fresh cheques dated January 2017, but he refused. On 25th November, he re-presented all three cheques, after informing JayCee Homes through email. This time, the bank informed him that they had received instructions to stop payment. Deepak  met Dipesh Bhagtani at his office the same day, who insisted on making payment in January 2017, but Deepak insisted on immediate payment. Deepak deposited the remaining two cheques of Rs. 5.21 lakhs each, and the bank returned them, stating that issuer had given stop payment instructions. 

  8. All cheques bounced. None of the 23 post-dated cheques given to Deepak Chopra and his brothers were  cleared. So they initiated cheque-bouncing proceedings under the the Negotiable Instruments Act 1881, as well as other criminal proceedings for cheating etc.
The Allotment Letter itself shows the builder's ill intentions to exploit the financial illiterary of Indian investors.

Click here to read the Allotment Letter. Focus on the underlined words and sentences that we have analysed below.

FRAUDULENT CLAUSES IN ALLOTMENT LETTER:

a) "Provisional Allotment". The allotment of flat no. 231 in Bhagtani Sapphire to  Deepak Chopra is "provisional", meaning it is not binding on the builder. Ask yourself: If the flat allotment is provisional, then how can commitment to pay be binding on the buyer?

b) "You have expressed your desire to acquire from us..." This implies that the builder is doing the buyer a favour by selling the flat, and so they are not equal parties in this contract.

c) "Schedule of Payment: On execution of this allotment – Rs 20,35,000/-" This implies that the buyer made the payment at the same time or after getting the allotment letter, and therefore the buyer voluntarily accepts all the terms mentioned in it. This is contrary to the facts, because the buyer made payment in November 2012, and got the Allotment Letter in April 2013. The allotment letter was thrust upon him; he could not refuse to accept it without endangering the money he had already paid.

d) "... paid on or before issuance of this letter". This half-truth sows confusion. The date on the letter is 3rd October 2012, whereas it was actually handed over five months later.

e) "... we shall also permit you 1 car parking spaces...". This implies that the builder is doing the flat-owner a favour. The legal position is that car-parking is part-and-parcel of the flat purchased.

f) "... any delay by you in making the aforesaid payments shall make this allotment letter voidable..." "Any delay" means the builder can terrorize the buyer by voiding the contract for even one day's delay.

g) "... we shall be entitled to forfeit the booking amount paid by you in addition thereto further cancellation charges calculated at the rate of 5% of the booking deposit..." This clause enables the builder to terrorize the buyer with the possibility of losing lakhs of rupees.

h) "... we may in our sole discretion instead of treating this allotment void as aforesaid, permit you to pay... after charging interest thereon at 21% per annum". This clause means that the buyer should be extremely grateful if the builder only charges him late-fees instead of forfeiting his booking amount and cancelling the allotment! Builder is king and consumer is beggar!

i) "You have further confirmed that intimation forwarded from us to you... that a particular stage of construction is commenced or completed shall be sufficient proof that such stage is commenced or completed." By accepting this allotment letter, the buyer supposedly agrees to accept the builder's every claim without any right to independently verify it.

j) "..failure of receipt of such notice/intimation from us requiring such payment will not be a plea or an excuse for non-payment..." If the buyer did not receive the builder's notice, the builder will not even have to prove that he sent the notice!

k) "You have inspected the proposed plans, title documents... and you have confirmed that you are fully satisfied... in all respects." This clause forces the buyer to sacrifice his right to seek to verify any paperwork. He is forced to blindly trust every claim of the builder.

l) "We have also disclosed to you that presently, the plans for the construction... are pending for approval and the specifications, size, dimensions and location... is subject to approval of such plans." This means that anything and everything in this project can be changed from the builder's side, including the size and location of your flat, and you have no legal remedies. Even if the entire project fails to materialize, the builder is

m) "You agree to sign all applications, papers and documents, and do all such deeds... that we may require for safeguarding the interest in the said project." Whoa, wait a minute! How can a free citizen of India give an undertaking to sign any papers put before him for safeguarding the interests of the project i.e. the builder's interest? Isn't the buyer supposed to sign documents for safeguarding his own interest?

n) "We shall be entitled to vary and modify the plans..." So the builder is completely free to change all their deliverables, and the buyer is completely tied up to his side of the contract.

o) "It is agreed that you are an investor..." The law does not distinguish between different types of buyers. All buyers – whether they are "investors" or whether they are urgently in need of a house to live in -- have the exact same rights and entitlements under the law, because they are paying the same money. By creating such wrong categories, the builders are loosening their own contractual commitments and diluting the legal consequences of breach of contract.

p) "...interest thereon calculated at the rate of 15% per annum..."As the Bhagtanis don't have any intention to repay the buyers, the high interest rate is just bol-bacchan.

q) "... the amounts paid by you shall be treated as loan till the amount is repaid to you". This means the buyer has no right to ask the builder to repay his dues in any time-frame, he will repay it at his own sweet convenience. Never mind if the buyer is in urgent need of his own money!

r) "... you shall also be liable to pay to us the charges for the betterment and development incurred by us... as applicable at the time of possession." This clause gives the builder complete freedom to demand more money at the time of giving possession.

s) "In the event if you wish to transfer the benefits of this Allotment Letter to any third party... subject to your administrative charges as may be determined by us..." Meaning, the builder can charge lakhs of rupees as transfer fees.

t) "You agree not to claim any right, title or interest... till the entire consideration and other payments payable by you hereinabove set out is paid out in full." Until the builder is ready to give possession, the buyer has no rights, no claims, no title.

u) "This letter is an understanding... which is not covered under MOFA." This is a nonsensical clause that weakens the buyers psychologically, and dilutes their legal rights. The actual fact is, every builder's activities are covered under MOFA and all applicable laws and rules.

v) "Please confirm your acceptance of the aforesaid terms and conditions by signing..." This clauses makes it appear as if the buyer has accepted all the unfair conditions imposed on him. According to law, every contract must be equitable; inequitable terms and conditions cannot be forced on someone. However, signing a letter with such clauses does pose obstacles during court proceedings.
w) Receipt. The receipt is the legally enforceable part of the contract. It states that Bhagtani accepts that Deepak Chopra has paid the sum of Rs 20,97,882/- towards booking flat no. 231 in Bhagtani Sapphire, coming up at Dahisar. So, Jaycee Construction Co is contractually bound to deliver the said flat within the committed time-frame (or a reasonable time-frame) to this buyer. That is the essence of the contractual obligation between the builder and his buyers! Bhagtani's buyers have to plead for this part of the contract to be enforced, that is all. Baki sab bakwaas hai!

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