Letter treated as PIL, sale deed of flats under HC lens

Alleged malpractice in the sale of residential apartments has come under the Bombay High Court scanner. The court has initiated suo motu action and converted a letter written by Thane-resident Vikrant Karnik into a public interest litigation.

Karnik, in his letter to the Chief Justice of the Bombay High Court on October 16, 2012 had named eight leading builders with major projects in Mumbai and Thane and accused them of cheating flat purchasers.

Karnik had alleged that builders and developers overcharge flat-purchasers by loading upto 45 per cent over and above the carpet area and expanding the flats to their 'super built-up' capacity.

He also said FSI provided for ducts and flower beds is illegally incorporated into the flat area by builders, who entice buyers with spacious-looking apartments.

Karnik's letter stated that a sting operation conducted by a television channel showed that the builders widely accepted payments in black and white components from their customers, thereby evading taxes.

He said honest builders abiding by taxation laws of the government cannot compete with the builders who accept black money.

He said the price of a flat is never mentioned in a builder's brochure, office or draft agreement. He said the cost of construction is also not revealed, thus keeping flat-purchasers in the dark, Karnik said.

On January 30, the Registrar (Judicial- II) sent a letter to Karnik, informing him that his letter was placed before Justice D Y Chandrachud and, after careful consideration, it has been converted into a public interest litigation.

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