The Oberoi Splendor Flat Owner Association (OSFOA) representing original six building (A to F) alleged that minister of Co-operation Maharashtra State, Harshvardhan S. Patil gave stay order illegally to notorious builder Vikas Oberoi in their society matter. Taking advantage of this favoritism Oberoi is terrorizing the flat owners, taking irreversible decisions, not handing over accounts of crores of rupees legitimately to flat owners and not cooperating in functioning of the complex.
Vikas Oberoi is chairman of Oberoi Reality. He is famous for constructing high rises and getting in dispute with purchasers in most of the projects. According to society members there are 1,296 flats in six buildings constructed by Vikas Oberoi (Oberoi Reality) in Andheri (East).
The OSFOA members have been struggling to register their society since 2011. After giving up all hopes on Vikas Oberoi, in April 2013 they approached Deputy Registrar to register their society under builder’s non – cooperation and got the name reservation for this society. Builder Vikas Oberoi, then using the membership forms of the flat owners fraudulently and forging the entries, made a back dated application in collusion with deputy registrar of K/East ward JD Patil, getting themselves a registered society on May 28, 2013. Oberoi illegally included one more (seventh) building in this society called Splendor Complex. The OSFOA members approached Divisional Joint Registrar office seeking stay order on Oberoi’s registration but registrar rejected their plea but admitted the appeal. Meghwadi Police station also have filed an FIR for this fraud, forgery and cheating against Vikas Oberoi.
However, all flat owners unitedly did not accepted Oberoi’s registered society on June 15, 2013 and under police protection they peacefully didn’t allow Vikas Oberoi as Chief promoter to hand over the illegal society to them. They alleged that before forming the society Oberoi did not followed any rules regulation of Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960 (MCS act) and Maharashtra Ownership of Flat Act (MOFA), The builder changed the name of society from Oberoi Splendor to Splendor Complex. He has not given account details to the flat owners, the land ownership to the society is half of that it should get legally and also there was no transparency in builder’s work.
‘The biggest shock was that the seventh building did not even have an OC in May 2013 and if the original six building society was formed in 2011, then question of seventh building being wouldn’t arise as it was in plinth state. As such the sale agreements also had six buildings explicitly mentioned, said Mohit Bhardwaj, promoter OSFOA.
Another flat owner said that all this delay in first registering the society of six buildings and then the hurry with fraudulently registering seven building society was done to avoid flat owners getting together to file cases against the seventh Illegal building and other irregularities amounting to several hundred crores.
The OSFOA members then approached Bombay High Court and got an order to expedite appeal process by the Divisional Joint registrar. Therefore, on March 11, 2014 Divisional joint registrar cancelled Oberoi’s society registration, passing a fair order in favour of the flat purchasers.
Later, Oberoi approached Harshvardhan Patil and on March 18, 2014 Patil gave stay on joint registrar’s society cancellation order.
Minister passed stay order illegally
The flat owners alleged that minister Harshvardhan Patil was in much hurry to give stay order to builder. He did not follow basic rules and principle of natural justice before issuing stay order.
1- Patil did not call the flat owners and passed ex-party order.
2- Minister passed stay order on ground that builder was losing money. This commercial reason which by itself is untrue is not sufficient for stay order in a revision application under section 154 of the MCS act. Minister has tried the matter as an original dispute rather than as a revision in which he has to see if there is any error of law in the Divisional Joint Registrar order.
3- OSFOA members obtained information through right to information (RTI) act and found that there was no Oberoi matter listed on particular day and no notice to the flat owners was issued by the department. Then how Patil passed stay order to builder.
4- Not enough, later on April 7, 2014 Harshvardhan Patil again restored stay order although he was not present in Mumbai.
“Minister should not forget that his role as well as the role of the State Government under MCS act is to encourage, permit and foster a healthy Co-operative movement and not to discourage or obstruct and defeat the purpose of the Act which is to foster a healthy Co-operative movement in the state,” said an OSFOA member.
And more importantly, there is a Bombay High Court order that builder has no locus standi to go for revision under the MCS act. The flat owners decide on their society and in the order of the Divisional Joint Registrar, no reliefs are sought from the builder, so Vikas Oberoi being an aggrieved party doesn’t arise at all. The role of builder is over when he sells the flat, it’s the flat owners who form the society not builder, builder acts as chief promoter to simply handover the accounts and the maintenance as obligated by MOFA.
The OSFOA members met Harshvardhan Patil but he ignored them. He was not ready to listen to their request/plea, whereas for builder he even passed order when away from office.
This favouritism of Harshvardhan Patil, builder Vikas Oberoi has created terror between the flat owners. He is ignoring and not taking any decision in favor of society.
“We are living like a prisoner under builder’s control, we can’t put up notices we want, we cannot freely invite press, we are harassed, extorted and arm twisted to pay builder when renting out flats, or to book hall in the premises or change our housing loan company,” said a flat owner.
“Despite getting a legally valid order by the Division Joint Registrar, now we are suffering due to the delay by the minister, we can’t even approach high Court until the minister passes the final order,” said another flat owner.
The flat owners are trying to again meet Harshvardhan Patil to address their request. They are sending SMS, emails and phone calls but Patil is not ready to meet them yet.
Despite repeated attempts, Harshvardhan Patil was not available for comment. He did not receive our repeated calls. Even did not reply to our text SMSes. Later his personal secretary Ajit Deshmukh replied and assured that he will pass the message to minister.