1. Buyers complain of fraud in Niranjan Hiranandani SEZ flats sale in Navi Mumbai

Buyers complain of fraud in Niranjan Hiranandani SEZ flats sale in Navi Mumbai

More than 1,000 families have approached the commerce ministry, seeking action against what they call fraud committed in the “sale” of flats to them by entities allegedly belonging to real estate developer Niranjan Hiranandani in a special economic zone (SEZ) in Panvel in Navi Mumbai.

By: | New Delhi | Published: October 24, 2016 6:24 AM
The Hiranandani group spokesperson clarified that Sunny Vista is an entity of Hirco Plc in which Niranjan Hiranandani was the chairman (until December 2010), while Persipina Developers Pvt Ltd — the current developer of the project — is 50% owned by Hiranandani indirectly. (Twitter) The Hiranandani group spokesperson clarified that Sunny Vista is an entity of Hirco Plc in which Niranjan Hiranandani was the chairman (until December 2010), while Persipina Developers Pvt Ltd — the current developer of the project — is 50% owned by Hiranandani indirectly. (Twitter)

More than 1,000 families have approached the commerce ministry, seeking action against what they call fraud committed in the “sale” of flats to them by entities allegedly belonging to real estate developer Niranjan Hiranandani in a special economic zone (SEZ) in Panvel in Navi Mumbai. A spokesperson for Hiranandani group denied allegations of any wrongdoing.

In a letter to commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman, these people have said that Sunny Vista Realtors started selling them flats in the non-processing area of the SEZ, named Hiranandani Palace Garden, in 2009 and most of them paid as much as 95% of the contracted value of flats by December 2011. Some of the allottees that FE spoke to say the housing project could be worth at least R1,670 crore (it involves 1,670-odd flats, with an average value of around R1 crore each).

“This fraud was perpetrated deliberately by hiding that flats in SEZ can never be sold, and only those who applied for registering the property came to know at too late a stage that the builder, despite charging a premium…, was in fact selling us a flat where he was denying us our rights of being called flat owners under the pretext of flats being subject to SEZ rules,” they alleged in the letter.

The Hiranandani group spokesperson clarified that Sunny Vista is an entity of Hirco Plc in which Niranjan Hiranandani was the chairman (until December 2010), while Persipina Developers Pvt Ltd — the current developer of the project — is 50% owned by Hiranandani indirectly.

While these people stressed Sunny Vista “sold” them flats in the SEZ, the Hiranandani spokesperson insisted flats were given only on “lease”.

“Sunny Vista has not sold any flat to any person. It has only agreements to lease under applicable rules of the SEZ Act 2005 and SEZ Rules 2006,” the spokesperson told FE in an email.

According to SEZ rules, any residential building in the non-processing areas can be used only by people working in that SEZ. Should a developer wish to sell flats built in the non-processing areas, he can do so only if he gets the relevant portion de-notified by the designated authorities from the rest of the SEZ, and that too after paying for all the incentives (like duty-free imported machinery and raw materials) he has received to develop that part of the SEZ. Also, non-processing areas must not account for more than 50% of the total areas of an SEZ.

The allottees countered the claim of “lease”. “The builder may have used certain words in the agreement to make it look like a lease but it’s clearly a sale. The allotment letters given to us say it’s a sale of flats. The Maharashtra government has registered it as an agreement of sale, and not lease, and Sunny Vista was a signatory to it. Also, we were charged the stamp duty by the state government in accordance with the rate applicable to sale, and not lease,” one of them said. They said it was Sunny Vista which collected the stamp duty (at the rate applicable to sale) and deposited it on behalf of the “buyers” with the state government.

They produced copies of some of the letters purportedly sent by Sunny Vista, in which it had said: “The provisional allotment letter is issued to you to initiate the process of confirming the sale of this apartment in your name.” FE couldn’t independently verify claims of either the builder or the flat “buyers” with the Maharashtra government immediately.

Asked if the builder can specify the SEZ rule that suggests flats in the non-processing areas can even be “leased” to people who are not a part of that SEZ, the Hiranandani group spokesperson replied: “There is no rule saying that flats cannot be leased to anyone as long as the person is in compliance with the SEZ Act 2005 and SEZ Rules 2006. This has been confirmed to every customer in their individual contract.”

In the letter to Sitharaman, the allottees have alleged that the registered agreement of “sale” between the company and them says they only have the “right to beneficial use for 99 years” instead of an outright “sale”.

Compounding their woes, Sunny Vista declared in 2012 that it was unable to clear loans taken from a consortium of banks, led by Punjab National Bank. The banks seized the project in 2013 under the SARFAESI Act and refused to recognise the rights of the “buyers” who had already paid almost the entire value of the flats. The flat “buyers” approached the Debt Recovery Tribunal, which ordered that their rights would be protected and flats would have to be completed by whoever takes over the project through the banks’ open e-auction, according to the letter.

Interestingly, Persipina Developers later took over the project through e-auction.

The flat “buyers” also sought to draw attention to a meeting of the Board of Approval for the SEZs on May 19 last year, asking for the de-notification of 10,77,419 sq ft of the non-processing area where 1,012 residential units have been built from the rest of the SEZ. This de-notification was subject to the payment of duty benefits availed after obtaining a no-objection certificate from the state government, according to the minutes of that meeting.

However, the Hiranandani group spokesperson clarified: “Sunny Vista had made an application for dual use (of residential building), which was rejected because their land had been sold off by the banks under the SARFAESI Act. Persipina had bought the assets and taken it over and had applied separately for the takeover. Persipina has not been asked to de-notify anything in the official communication given to Persipina by the ministry of commerce and industry.”

Homely matters
– Allottees say they were ‘sold’ flats in SEZ and they also paid stamp duty rate applicable to sale
– Rules don’t permit sale of flats in SEZ without getting relevant portion de-notified
– Hiranandani spokesperson says flats were not sold but given on ‘lease’ only

  1. B
    BOOBDABAANI
    Oct 25, 2016 at 5:52 am
    SONANANDANI TUNGTUNGANI OR GARNMARANI OR NI OR GHUSANI WHOEVER MAYBE THE DEVELOPER ,BUYERS NEED TO BE CAREFUL OF BUILDERS AND DEVELOPERS.FIRST AND FOREMOST GO TO SBI HOME FINANCE AND LICENSE HOME FINANCE TO CHECK WHICH PROJECTS ARE APPROVED BY THEM FOR HOUSING LOANS.THEIR RULES ARE THE TOUGHEST AND ANY BUILDER WITH FRAUD INTENTION WILL NOT BE ABLE TO GET THEIR PROJECTS CLEARED FOR APPROVAL OF LOANS. HDFC, STANDARD CHARTERED BANK ALSO HAVE VERY STRICT RULES BEFORE APPROVAL.ALWAYS APPOINT A PROPERTY LAWYER BEFORE PURCHASE OR PAYING ADVANCE OR BOOKING MONEY. PROPERTY LAWYERS ARE THE BEST TO DO DUE DILIGENCE OF ANY PROJECT.IT IS A ONE TIME EXPENSE.ALSO CHECK THE FLAT YOU ARE GOING TO BUY IS MORTGAGED WITH ANY BANK.BUILDERS MANY OF THEM SELL THE SAME FLAT TO NUMBER IF PEOPLE.ALSO MANY BUILDERS PROMISE SEA FACING GARDEN FACING SWIMMING POOL FACING FLATS BUT VERY SMARTLY CHANGE THE NUMBER OF FLATS AND LATER ON TALK ABOUT CHANGE IN ARCHITECT PLANS DUE TO GOVERNMENT RULES ETC EXCUSES AS OVER A PERIOD OF TIME THE BUILDER WILL TAKE ADVANTAGE OF APPRECIATION AND MAKE PROFITS BY SELLING THOSE FLATS AT A PREMIUM.ALSO MANY DEVELOPERS COLLECT MONEY AND SELL THE DEVELOPMENT RIGHTS TO ANOTHER BUILDER.THE NEW BUILDER WILL COME WITH A NEW PRICE AND YOU WILL HAVE TO PAY THE HIGHER PRICE OR LOSE THE FLAT AND GO TO COURT.IT WILL TAKE YEARS.AS LONG AS NEXUS OF POLITICIANS DEVELOPERS AND LAND MAFIA IS THERE BUYERS ARE NOT IN A POSITION TO DO ANYTHING EXCEPT SPEND MONEY AND TIME IN COURTS GENERATION AFTER GENERATION. JAI JHULELAL SAI
    Reply
    1. A
      ab chavan
      Nov 1, 2016 at 2:54 pm
      I am also sufferer of this project. We believed on Hiranandani as a good builder/developer and hence purchased the flat, but he seems to be a big chitter as postponed the delivery date three times. Govt . shall immediately to look into this matter and we, every body shall get the possession at the earliest.
      Reply
      1. A
        a c
        Oct 26, 2016 at 8:29 am
        I am one of the victims of those 1650 odd buyers of flats in the township. This is an elaborate and tricky manition of english words to deceive unsuspecting buyers. The issue has been complicated by registering many agreements as and state govt. charging stamp duty at ready reckoner rates. I wud appeal to the State and Central Govt. to warn members of the public through electronic and print media not to fall prey to the machinations of the developer, who has started taking new bookings in phase 2. His project advt. can be seen prominently on Mumbai Pune Express way at multiple locations It is not a big issue for the present developer to pay back to govt. the tax/duty exemptions availed earlier under SEZ Scheme and denotify the residential area, as he is flush with funds after selling the commercial real estate in Powai, as per press report..
        Reply
        1. D
          DJ P
          Oct 24, 2016 at 11:35 am
          Hiranandani is fraud. Stay away from panvel project.
          Reply
          1. C
            CDR Thomas
            Oct 24, 2016 at 7:47 am
            The Original Supplied read like this.a) The township is planned on an are of 583 Acresb) Residential Phase 1 -
            Reply
            1. C
              CDR Thomas
              Oct 24, 2016 at 7:52 am
              The Original Supplied read like this.a) The township is planned on an are of 583 Acresb) Residential Phase 1 - 45 Acresc) Multi Services SEZ - 303 AcresWith this our understanding is there is a specific space for allocated for residence.Note - Sorry, my earlier post was not complete.
              Reply
              1. Y
                Yogi
                Oct 27, 2016 at 4:39 am
                I never imagined that Hiranandani can turn out to be such a big frauddian government should initiate investigation in to w saga of cheating foreign investors of HIRCO, innocent NRIs , retired armed personnel and other senior citizens.This fraud merits CBI enquiry.
                Reply
                1. B
                  Biren jasani
                  Oct 24, 2016 at 3:34 pm
                  This is a big scandal by Hiranandani group. I am one of the victims and we still continue to suffer. It seems hiranandani have got deep links with government and banks and that's why so far no action from any body. 1670 flat buyers continue to suffer and without justice. Above all despite so many flat buyers continue to suffer hiranandani shamelessly continue to sell this project to his new customers and without true facts been not shared to them. Hope someone will from government will listen to us and take a strong action against this fraud developer NIRANJAN HIRANANDANI
                  Reply
                  1. V
                    Viresh Arora
                    Nov 18, 2016 at 4:21 am
                    Bloody thugs and big cheats like these biggies.Has modi any courage to catch them by neck and penalize them.No he will penalize only the common public even though he is aware of the the big Loot on and if you apprise him he will divert the matter.It's is a blatant case of cheating. All these are friends of MODI. Public has to pay price of bringing him to power. Jai ho Modi When will public arouse to the wake up call.
                    Reply
                    1. J
                      jack
                      Nov 3, 2016 at 7:13 am
                      even iam cheated by this builder in chennai. they are going around the country to cheat more people. please stay away from hiranandani. they will take your money and run away.
                      Reply
                      1. J
                        JD Patel
                        Oct 24, 2016 at 4:22 pm
                        Sadly this is one of the biggest fraud in India that strangely has not gathered enough news. It could be perhaps the incentives provided by NH to suppress the dissemination of the news.Thousands of victims primarily Indians and NRIs buyers have been framed by NH. NH clearly misled the buyers by initially using his name implying he was the promoter. Subsequently having his local company Sunny Vista add “/lease” to misguide buyers in all allotment letters.NH subsequently acquired the ets including vast land area at preferential terms. His new company acquired all the obligations (and benefits). It is but another scam that Persipina Developers Pvt Ltd is now written in this article as 50% owned by Hiranandani indirectly. NH is involved in all meetings with the affected buyers.I hope there is justice in India for such illegal acts. I hope some government officers of power can help us.If not here, NH will pay for his sins in this life or after.
                        Reply
                        1. L
                          Lancyrd
                          Nov 10, 2016 at 5:34 am
                          Sir when u booked the flat . I too have booked 9769992474
                          Reply
                          1. A
                            Anil Malkani
                            Oct 25, 2016 at 10:49 am
                            Nh should deliver the flats very fast to bring back people's confidence back in Hiranandani projects, because of him everyone is suffering, his name and retion is at stake he should think
                            Reply
                            1. K
                              Kannan Iyer
                              Oct 24, 2016 at 9:35 am
                              does this apply to the flats they sell now as Hiranandani Fortune City Panvel?
                              Reply
                              1. S
                                Srini Satya
                                Oct 25, 2016 at 7:38 pm
                                I am also one of the buyer (booked May 2010 and paid booking amount) in this project of Hiranandani, after paying 95 pc I am still waiting for my flat for the last 3 years. I paid premium at that time (May 2010), squarely because of the Hiranandani’s name in the market. They turned out to be cheater. They came knocking our door in Santa Clara, California, USA during that time with all tall and false promises. I feel cheated with all my money stuck with the developer. I have written countless emails and letter to government, with no result yet. Future buyers beware of your hard earned money.
                                Reply
                                1. V
                                  Viral Shah
                                  Oct 24, 2016 at 12:02 pm
                                  I am one of the 1670 apartment buyers who are impacted. Hiranandani has conducted a huge fraud and fleeced us of our lifetime savings. There are so many people amongst our group who are old and have nowhere to live. Some ppl have sold everything and bought the apartment.Anyone reading this please spread this info and share with any media/Govt persons who can help.
                                  Reply
                                  1. Load More Comments

                                  Go to Top