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Gurugram RWA wins land battle against DLF

  • In a setback to leading real estate player DLF, the Punjab and Haryana high court has directed the developer to return 11acres of prime land in DLF 5 to the residents' welfare association concerned. DLF had developed a project, 'The Crest', on the 11-acre land, which was part of a 30-acre plot meant to develop DLF Park Place.

    In the directive, which comes in response to a legal case by the RWA of DLF Park Place, the high court also observed that the land to be given back to the RWA of DLF Park Place may not be that on which 'The Crest' has been developed as a third-party right has been created for that project.

    "In the case of Park Place, in any event, it would not affect the third parties for, admittedly, there is available 30 acres adjoining/contiguous to Park Place," the court said. The HC made this observation after the developer had admitted before the court that additional land contiguous to Park Place was indeed available.

    However, Justice S J Vajifdar and Justice T S Dhindsa of the Punjab and Haryana high court in their 158-page judgment of December 2, 2016, also mentioned that if "the additional 11 acres or any part thereof are not available contiguous to the 19 acres, the petitioners shall be entitled to seek any alternate relief ".

    The HC has directed the department of town and country planning (DTCP) to identify and demarcate the 11-acre piece of land contiguous to Park Place. This land demarcated by DTCP will be handed over to the RWA.

    DLF Park Place consists of 988 residential units with approximately 2.2 million square feet of saleable area in 13 blocks of 19 to 20 floors each. The project was launched in 2006 over a 30-acre plot with apartments ranging from 1,875 square feet to 2,550 square feet.
     
    DLF's promotional brochure and documents submitted before Sebi mentioned that Park Place project is spread over 30 acres. However, in the deed declaration submitted in 2012 before the DTCP, the developer mentioned a land area of 19.33 acres for Park Place and later in 2013 launched 'The Crest' on part of the land meant for Park Place, Harsh Sehgal, president of DLF Park Place RWA, said.
     
    Subsequently, residents of Park Place filed a petition in 2013 alleging that 'The Crest' was constructed in the area meant for Park Place. In May 2013, the Punjab and Haryana HC had ordered a stay on the marketing of 'The Crest' project. DLF then approached the vacation bench in the Supreme Court, where Justice Gyan Sudha Mishra vacated the stay on DLF. Since then, the case languished for over two years in the SC.
     
    "It was only after several attempts and different types of applications filed at the apex court, the SC bench presided by Chief Justice T S Thakur in August 2015 returned the case to the HC for expeditious disposal," Sehgal said.
     

    OUR TAKE

    With decision after decisions being made against the property players, the real estate agents never seem to learn. Once more, the real estate industry took a hit because of the wrong deeds of a big player. How much more should the firms be reprimanded for them to understand the grievousness of the situation? Only time will tell.


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