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Beware! Agreement of Nahar Amrit Shakti (Chandivali) is a Trap

17 March 2012, Mumbai: Do educated people handcuff themselves? Yes, very often. The big boss of Nahar Group – one of India’s biggest builders – routinely makes top professionals and businessmen tie up their own hands. A large number of such people own properties in Nahar Amrit Shakti Complex Chandivali, near Powai. Ask Sukhraj B. Nahar. Lured by dreams of greenery, world-class amenities and rapid capital appreciation, intelligent people from Mumbai, Dubai, UK etc. book homes in Nahar Amrit Shakti complex. The prestigious address, the sheer size of the complex, and the involvement of HDFC Realty in this marketing exercise gives buyers a feeling of comfort and security. 

However, the dreams are false. The reality of Nahar Amrit Shakti turns out to be dry and dusty. But people who buy homes from Sukhraj Nahar seldom fight for their rights. Poocho kyon? 

Because, in their Flat Purchase/Sale Agreement, they renounce their right to seek legal remedies. Call it bullishness, lack of due diligence or herd mentality –- the flat purchasers readily agree to numerous illegal and discriminatory terms and conditions. Buyers are lulled into an unquestioning state-of-mind by the silver-tongued sales staff working for Nahar Group and HDFC Realty. (Buyers fall into a trap by ignoring the crucial fact that Nahar Enterprises, Nahar Builders & Developers, and Nahar Amrit Shakti Project Ltd. are all separate entities, and the obligations of one is not necessarily the obligation of the other. 

Here is a case study: Someone bought an apartment in Lantana building in Nahar Amrit Shakti complex. It is one of the 17 buildings built like conjoined twins inside a single plot called Sector R-12. See this layout: http://tinyurl.com/Lantana-Nahar-Amrit-Shakti-R12 



These photos show flat-purchasers living on a dusty construction site with stone quarrying happening in the surrounding hills, under Nahar’s supervision. The promised lush gardens, clubhouse and parking podiums are simply not there. The  parking podiums in almost all the buildings of Sector R-12 of Nahar Amrit Shakti have been illegally converted into duplex flats for sale. If MCGM increases the FSI or TDR in coming years, event the 50,000 sq ft. space reserved for the clubhouse will be converted into apartments; the stage has already been set by the agreement itself.

See this AGREEMENT FOR SALE made in 2006: http://tinyurl.com/Extra-parties-SBNahar-Agreemnt 

DOES THE AGREEMENT SPECIFY WHAT THE BUILDER MUST DELIVER, AND WHEN? NO. There are no dates and deadlines for delivery – not even tentative ones. 

DOES THE AGREEMENT SPECIFY COMMON AMENITIES? NO. It only contains a bare minimum promise of delivering flat no. 401 on the 4th floor of a building called Lantana in Sector R-12 Chandivali, having built-up area of 842 square feet in exchange for Rs 42.73 lakhs. Even the number of floors in the building is unspecified. The list of amenities says “Children’s Park” and “Recreation Garden”. How big? Where? By when? Not mentioned. See this: http://tinyurl.com/NaharAmritShakti-R12-Amenities 

Review this list in the light of what is shown in the Nahar Amrit Shakti promotional video or sales brochure. This list does not even mention the clubhouse, meditation hall, lush gardens, fountains, podium parking etc. 

DOES THE AGREEMENT SAFEGUARD THE BUYER? NO. It says that the builder can even mortgage the whole building if he wants. It talks about the rights and privileges of the land owners, who are signatories to this agreement, but is silent about their contractual obligations to the flat-buyer.   

Amazingly, Nahar Group’s standard agreement format says that the RIGHTS OF OTHER PARTIES, INCLUDING NAHAR, WILL TAKE PRIORITY OVER THE FLAT-PURCHASER’S BASIC RIGHTS such as light and space (casement rights), and enjoyment of common amenities like terrace. The flat-purchaser repeatedly affirms that having inspected numerous documents mentioned in the agreement, he is freely agreeing to all this. 

NINE PARTIES ARE MENTIONED IN THE AGREEMENT:

(i) NAHAR ENTERPRISES. Please remember, this is a bilateral agreement for Sale between Mr Raina “The Flat Purchaser” and Nahar Enterprises “The Builder”. This agreement is about the flat, the amenities and the money paid for it; everything else  diverts it from its legitimate purpose. ALL THE OTHER PARTIES MENTIONED BELOW DILUTE THIS AGREEMENT.

(ii) FOUR HUFS CONSISTING OF ORIGINAL LAND OWNERS. Contradicting point (i), Nahar Amrit Shakti’s Agreement for Sale is between Mr Raina, Nahar Enterprises and the land owners, “The Owners”. It says on page 25 that although the Owners are a party to this agreement, the Builders and the Owners are “independent contracting parties on Principal to Principal basis” and are not to be considered as “Promoter” as per MOFA Act 1963. Inclusion of the owners enables S B Nahar to pass the buck. If the flat-purchaser takes the builder to court for breach of agreement, the land owners too may get dragged in, complicating the litigation. Because of this, the flat-buyer’s chances of getting legal remedies against the builder are minimized.

(iii) CHANDIVALI DEVELOPMENT CORPN, LATER DISSOLVED. “The Owners” formed separate agreements with Messrs Chandivli Development Corporation (called “The Corporation”) for developing their lands. The Owners, the Corporation and the Builder signed two tripartite agreements. Authorized by the Owners and the Corporation, the Builder (Nahar Enterprises) got layout plans prepared by architects. But later, Chandivali Corporation was dissolved, and the owners are now dealing with the builder as individuals. So why is it mentioned in the agreement? Because it can be used to confuse the court if necessary.  

(iv) COOPERATIVE SOCIETY. A cooperative society must no doubt be formed by the flat purchaser and his neighbours in due course, but why mention it in this agreement? The agreement says that the coop. society or condominium as being responsible for management and maintenance. So, if the building is not well maintained, Nahar says, “Don’t look at me, go to the society!” And if the society has not yet been formed, he can say, “That is your fault.” On page 27, Nahar casts the duty of complying with mandatory fire-safety requirements on the society, thereby shirking his own legal liabilities.

(v) AD-HOC COMMITTEE TO BE FORMED BY ALL COOP. SOCIETIES for maintenance etc. More buck-passing opportunities for Nahar.

(vi) FEDERATION OF COOP. SOCIETIES. The agreement says Nahar will give conveyance only after a federation is formed for Nahar Amrit Shakti Sector R-12. Given our busy lives, it is hard enough for us to form cooperative societies. It is inconceivably more difficult for 17 such societies of different sizes, representing about 1500 flats, to form a federation. Nahar knows this. So, forget about getting conveyance!

(vii) NAHAR BUILDERS & DEVELOPERS LIMITED. Please note, “Nahar Builders and Developers” is not the same as “Nahar Enterprises”. According to the agreement, Nahar Builders & Developers has “agreed to provide club facilities to the flat purchasers of Nahar Amrit Shakti”. But it is not a signatory, only “Nahar Enterprises” is. The legal implication is that Nahar Enterprises, “The Builder”, cannot be held responsible for the promised clubhouse, and it will never be included in the conveyance.

(viii) POTENTIAL LENDERS TO WHOM THE BUILDER MAY MORTAGE THE BUILDING. The agreement says that the builder is at liberty to mortgage the building to raise funds for any purpose whatsoever. Use your imagination: the loan may be for covering S B Nahar’s losses in the share market, or something equally irrelevant. So where does that leave the flat-purchaser?

(ix) STONE QUARRY OPERATORS WHO HAVE LEASED HILLS FROM LAND OWNERS. The agreement names several quarry operators and their individual leases. This means that the flat purchaser cannot complain to the builder against the noise and dust; he will not even be able to go to court against it, because it is part of his agreement. Don’t ask questions such as: Is quarrying allowed within city limits? Have the owners got Environment Ministry clearance? S B Nahar can shrug and say that it is the decision of individual land-owners, and not his responsibility.

Are we finished with counting the loopholes? No, not yet. A dozen other  unlawful points are lurking in the same agreement. We hope that some lawyers and owners of Nahar Amrit Shakti properties will also apply their mind to such agreements, so the the government is forced to review its policies and close the loopholes.

Until we write the next article on this topic, read the agreement by yourself and see what all you can spot. Also, please share your experiences and give us feedback. We look forward to receiving your feedback and reviews.

Warmly,
Krish
Building.RTI.union@gmail.com
98215 88114

PS: Deepak Parekh, Chairman of Housing Development Finance Corporation (HDFC) sits on many government committee, and speaks on various forums on good corporate governance, banking norms etc. Deepak Parekh is not just another businessman; he is a pioneer in the field of home loans, and occupies a high moral throne in the eyes of the media and the public. So, he needs to review and re-evaluate the involvement of HDFC and HDFC Realty with the S B Nahar Group of Companies. The question that arises is, should the HDFC brand be supporting and leveraging the brand value of dubious entities like Nahar Enterprises, Nahar Builders & Developers etc. Shouldn’t HDFC stop giving home loans for Nahar Amrit Shakti apartment sales, so that S B Nahar is forced to stop playing dirty games with the life-savings of flat purchasers?

Posted in Activism, Economic Commonsense, Global stupidity, Governance & Administration, Right to Information, Whistleblowers.

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One Response

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  1. Rakesh Kumar Chauhan says

    Now has started cheating, asking extra money of increase in service area and for society formation etc

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