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

13 comments:

  1. Well written Krish. Thanks for getting the word out about these phony developers. The Bhagtani family needs to be in jail not walking free among the rest of us. Their projects will go down as one of the biggest Ponzi schemes int he country

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  2. Thank you for posting this.
    All of what is mentioned above shiws how flat buyers are a harassed lot and neeed to come together to press for the right thing to be done.

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  3. Congratulations Krish. This is a very correct on facts and to the point article. Should help shake up things

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  4. Congratulations Krish. This is a very correct on facts and to the point article. Should help shake up things

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  5. Hey Krish.. this is true and fact that builder have clear intentions of cheating and dupe the harearned money of buyers.. pls see below... which i posted just now on FB Bhagtani Riyo project case too..

    Hey Guys,
    Jaycee Homes has cheated us.. jaycee homes sold the flats in prelaunch 4.5years back to us and taken 30% down payment, but till now not developed anything and even not refunding payments for another 30months.
    even that also not sure as so many people got cheque bounces which builder issued in last year.
    we are stuck in between ... now we are nowhere after 4.5years of investment..still pursuing on rent only.
    also these guys sending letters to all buyers to avoid the RERA judiciary... and trying to settle the invested money through 'selling' other builder's project at current market rates, which is quite very high.
    in the liability of interest on total 30% amount , they are showing that they are providing discount in the new project, which is not compensating the last 4.5 years at all and saying to give more money to book the new flat in new builder "Origin Group"... disgusting and when we demanded our invested 30% money with interest back then they are saying that "will not be able to return money now as company don't have funds and will return only after 30months from cancellation date"
    as per this commitment they are taking signatures and NOC from buyers and cleaning the spots on their white collars.
    as we all know that in past 1 year so many buyers got cheques but all bounced from builder's bank bcz of insufficient funds...
    so we really cannot trust in this builder and cannot take risk of next 30 more months, which will not clear from their accounts.. it shows very clear that this builder have clear tendency of cheating.
    really these guys cheating to buyers and no govt.body, real estate forum, real estate authority , media etc. are not taking any initiation/action against this buider.
    well i m approaching soon to Joint commissioner of mumbai, Maharashtra CM office and PM Office.
    may be all of you thinking that this post is also a common post and nobody will come for this as we dont have any proofs against this builder.. but here i would like to clear that we have enough proofs to proove that this builder is cheating us.. after committing us wrogly again and again.
    if anybody wanna to join this mission against this builder,
    let's moov together...then only can recover money from this builder.
    Let,s take this as mission... we all will get money back with compensation which we deserves since 5 years.
    Let's Join Hands together...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good move brother...pls call on 9167202157 for any joint move

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    2. Mysenlf rajendra padma i am also a victim in savannah project please call me or add me in group where i can take action my contact number is 9833500420

      Delete
  6. Builder should be punished severely for taking us on a ride and enjoying a luxurious life at our cost.NOt only him but his entire sales team should be held responsible for misleading buyers.

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  7. If law and regulations are there then authority must take proper action investigate and give justice to the each person who have been suffering due to all this wrong things happened in the past..
    Court aur MahaRERA must take sue moto steps and show law and order is still there

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  8. we are with you please call on 9820203614

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  9. Why not have a what's app group formed and move ahead collectively... Seems like a better way ahead

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  10. please call on 9892016164...let us collectively move ahead and get our hard earned money back

    ReplyDelete