Need justice and our MONEY back from Bhagtani's (Jaycee Homes Scam)
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Bhagtani Victim's Voices #1: Branson, Imran and others on Bhagtani Serenity (Powai), Bhagtani Riyo (Miraroad), Bhagtani Savannah (Kanjurmarg), Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar), Bhagtani Executive (Ghatkoper) and Bhagtani Horizon (Goregaon)
Note: The below story is for Bhagtani Serenity, Powai. There is a similar case for all the projects where in most cases the land is also not owned by the builder.
Everybody has hopes to make a dream home for their families. Our story started in the same way. All of us who booked flats in this project were actual consumers, not investors. Bhagtani Serenity is a real estate project by JVPD Properties Pvt Ltd and Jaycee Homes Pvt Ltd, under directors Lakshman Purshottam Bhagtani, Mukesh Lakshman Bhagtani and Dipesh Lakshman Bhagtani. It is located at Powai, on land bearing C.T.S. no 63A/5 and 64 D, S ward of village Tirandaz, Taluka Kurla, Mumbai. .
How we went from hope to despair
In 2012, Bhagtanis sold flats in Serenity (similar was the case other projects) under a pre-launch offer before any development permissions were granted. It was pre-launched with Building No. 1 and Building No. 2 which had A, B, C, D, A2 & A3 wings of 39 floors each.
The builders asked for a lumpsum amount as advance booking ranging from 30% to 80% of the cost of the flat. The rate per sq. feet was negotiated by the builder based on the down-payment or booking amount a customer was willing to pay; higher the down-payment, lower the rate. Some were offered car parking within the same price, and for others it was charged extra -- Rs 5 lacs to 10 lacs.
The developer promoted this project on various social media platforms and property websites like 99Acres, MagicBricks, Maakan.com etc.
Numerous estate agents called potential property buyers, gave positive "feedback" about the project and convinced innocent home buyers to put their money in Bhagtani Serenity. (One prominent estate agent was Dilawar from DHR Homes.) They claimed that, they were associated with Jaycee Homes for many years. They said they had verified all the documents, and endorsed it as a viable project in a prime locality.
The developer put up a huge advertisement that was visible from the Andheri Bridge on the Western Express Highway to lure innocent home buyers. There was one hoarding at the start of the JVLR on the highway at Jogeshwari in 2014-15. The project was also promoted at the MCHI property exhibition held at BKC, Bandra in 2014.
Jaycee Homes Sales representatives namely – Upkar Singh, Arti, Sandesh and Ragini said that the land title was clear and the land was in the name of JVPD properties Pvt. Ltd. They claimed that the required approvals (IOD and CC) would be received by December 2013 and possession of the flats would be given by 2016-2017.
All payments were made by cheque. It was inclusive of service tax.
Allotment letters said, "You have expressed your desire to acquire a flat from JVPD Properties with all terms and conditions."
We waited for a year and started to panic in May 2014 when there was no news from the builder about the IOD and CC. We started following up every three months with the builder's CRM team and all we heard was hopes and lies.
We were told that the government was delaying the approvals due to change in the development plans and due to change in the overall government. As always, what can a middle class buyer do? We just kept our hopes alive till end-2015.
After a lot of follow ups and tiffs with their CRM team (Khusboo Khanna, Vijith Gosh, Radhakrishna Kamath, Vinay Shukla, Simi Arora, etc) we heard that IOD would be received in April 2016 and the work would start.
Finally in April 2016, we received an email from Jaycee Homes stating that Project Serenity has received the IOD. This was a joyful moment for all of us.
We received demand letters for making the IOD payment as per the allotment letter.
We visited the office at Santacruz and enquired about further details about the start of the project. We were told that they had applied for the CC and expect to receive the same by August 2016 and construction work would commence from October 2016.
Many of us had a debate with the builder and refused to make any further payments until the work began, as we had been hearing false commitments for the last 3 years and had lost trust on the builder.
Some of us paid the IOD payment on the demand letter issued.
There was no further sign of hope till October 2016. Many of us followed up numerous times with the CRM team and received false promises.
We lost hope and started fighting to get our money back. We thought that the builder would return the money on the basis of our cancellation.
We started some investigations based on the arguments we had to get our money back after the cancellation was discussed with the builder.
We were shocked to hear the news about the other projects (Riyo in Miraroad, Sapphire in Dahisar) where the builder was not paying back the money and defaulting on cheques, etc.
In view of this, we didn’t sign the cancellation deed, but kept on discussing and fighting to get our money back.
Months passed. It was March 2017 when we thought of coming out in the open against the builder for the first time.
We started with some social media campaigns on Facebook, Twitter, etc. to let the world know about the issues we are having with Jaycee Homes. We started receiving calls from their CRM team where they asked us to stop posting anything on social media and invited us to the office for further discussion.
Another surprise was that they claimed to have received the CC of the project in March. Again, they started demanding IOD money from everyone.
As a group we had decided not to pay a single penny and asked for a meet with the directors of the company namely, Mukesh and Dipesh Bhagtani. The meeting was confirmed on 19th March, 2017 at their office located in Santacruz. Persons present at the meeting from their side were: Diipesh Bhagtani (Director), Mukesh Bhagtani (Director), Khushboo Khanna (Vice President CRM), Ankita Varma (Legal Advisor), Radhakrishna Kamath & Vinay Shukla (CRM Dept).
We wanted to verify the documents and get complete details as to what was the plan they have on developing Bhagtani Serenity and why the delay. We received many rude shocks when we were told that: (a) Land title was not received when the booking was done in 2013. It was received in late 2013 or early 2014. (b) Only part-IOD and CC had been received which shows as wing 2 and wing 3. Further the 2 wings for which approvals received are wing A and Wing B and eventually further wings approvals would be taken. However, the demand for IOD payment had been sent to all the buyers irrespective of the wing. (c) There was a ULC reservation on the land because of which the builder had to change their plans. The actual construction would be on portion beyond reservations as per the current or the proposed MCGM rules. (d) In two months, the builders would get the APF (Approved Project Financial) and tie up with banks (e) We were told that the agreements could be made with the flat buyers within 6 months of the work beginning on 15 April 2017. (f) Wing A and B would be delivered in 36 months from 15th April when the work started and there would be 6 month’s timeline difference in A, B and C, D which means C, D would be 42 months and E would be 48 months. Mobilization of site would start from 15th April 2017.
We asked what were the terms and conditions if we wanted to exit the project. In response, we were told to wait for 6 months after which the company would provide sales assistance in reference to their respective inventory to be sold. They asked us to give them details as to who wished to exit the project by selling off his/her flats. Those of us who wished to exit requested the builder not to demand any more payments for IOD/ CC etc. We also came to know at that time that the buyers were termed as investors and the allotment was not covered under MOFA.
Many of us returned from this meeting thinking that the construction work would start on 15th April, 2017. We visited the sites and there was no sign of anything. We again asked for a meeting with the directors, and met Dipesh and Mukesh Bhagtani on 22nd April, 2017. At this meeting, it was agreed with the builders that (a) they would not raise any demand whatsoever, from our group till the completion of construction of foundation/footing. (b) The payment toward plinth completion shall be paid only upon completion of the plinth. (c) Further payments would be made only after entering into registered Sale Agreements.
The developer assured our group that they would register the project with the RERA authority and would also be RERA compliant, and that they would execute and register Sale agreements of all of us within three months for A and B-Wing, and six months for C, D and E wing.
The developer assured us that our flats would be eligible for loan approval by leading banks, within 3 months.
After this meeting, the work started with just one JCB on the site. The JCB operator had no clue as to what he had to do. We visited the site quite often and nothing was in place.
In May, the state government launched Maharashtra RERA authority, and we all waited for our project to be registered on RERA.
On 1st of August, we got a letter from the builder stating that project Serenity won’t take off due to lot of government issues, and so it was better to meet one of their representatives and discuss cancellation or transfer to some other project.
The terms for cancellation were that the builder would return the money to us in 24 months, where from 1st to 17th month there will no payment made. All the payment would be done from 18th to 24th month along with the interest mentioned in the allotment letter.
Alternatively, they offered to transfer us to some project in Kandivali which was in an even worse situation than Jaycee Homes. We refused both these offers, which are based only on the builder's needs and conveniences, ignoring our needs and the rules of fair-play.
To our surprise, we came to know that Bhagtani Serenity was registered on RERA after we received the letter on 1st August, 2017 and no communication was passed on to us. Building no. 1 is registered in RERA with the year of possession as 2025 and claims that there were no buyers for this project. This is total fraud!
We need our hard-earned money back, and hence, we have decided to take legal action against these builders who have and intention to loot innocent home buyers with false promises and hopes.
We are relying on registering an FIR with the Economic Offences Wing of Mumbai Police, and getting appropriate orders from the High Court to get back our money.
The group of buyers referred to above includes:
Imran Shah & Sakina Mustaq Ahmed Shaikh
Apurva Pandya & Madhuri Pandya
Donaven C Dsouza
Nivas Patil & Pramila Patil
Amruta S. Apte
Maulik Vyas & Nilam Vyas
Alphonsa Paul (Rocky Paul)
Jatinder pal singh Dhanjal & Kuldeep singh Dhanjal
Meeta Kukreja and Neeha Karmokar
Mrityunjay R Dubey
Udit Sharma &Ritu Sharma
Shashi Dubey & Harish Dubey
Smitha Anand Maroli & Dr. Suresh Anand Maroli
Sajan Dhanuka & Prerana Dhanuka
Vitthal Govind Sawant
Abhishek Singh Shefali Panwar kaise
Kaiser Abdul Majeed Bawla
Ashesh Goradia/kaiser Abdul Majeed Bawla
Kanwarlal B. Daga
Vijaya devi Daga
and may more to be added to the list from Bhagtani Riyo (Miraroad), Savannah (Kanjurmarg), Bhagtani Sapphire (Dahisar), Bhagtani Executive (Ghatkoper) and Bhagtani Horizon (Goregaon)
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