Justice Purushaindra Kumar Kaurav refused to entertain the more than 200 petitions filed by homebuyers, including the Supertech Urban Home Buyers’ Association Foundation, saying in view of the availability of alternative remedies available to homebuyers, their writ petitions are dismissed.
Stating that the cases in hand are purely contractual in nature, the court noted that the builder-buyer agreement also categorically provides for an arbitration clause, which provides for any dispute related to the agreement to be resolved through arbitration.
Without expressing any opinion on the merits of the case, the court said that “since the interests of a large number of homebuyers are involved in these cases, if the homebuyers avail alternative remedies, as may be available to them, the same may be considered and decided expeditiously in accordance with law”.
The judge noted that in some cases, homebuyers have already moved the alternate forums and their cases are pending. In some cases, where the banks have initiated insolvency proceedings against the builder, the homebuyers can also raise their claim before the concerned tribunal, he said.
The association, consisting of 123 homebuyers, had booked their flats in Supertech’s Gurgaon projects – Supertech Hues, Azalia and Scarlet. The homebuyers had availed of home loans on the basis of subvention schemes, whereby banks and financial institutions would disburse the sanctioned amount to the builder directly and the latter, in turn, would pay the pre-EMIs or full EMIs on the sanctioned loan to the lenders. Separate agreements were also executed between the homebuyers and banks in this regard.
As the builder stopped making payments to the lenders, the latter sent payment reminders to the homebuyers, who claimed that they were not obligated to pay till they were given possession of the completed apartments. The homebuyers then moved the high court, alleging that the lenders failed to follow RBI guidelines and disbursed the amount without taking into consideration the fact that the builder had not constructed the flats.
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