Real-estate firm to pay Rs 7.7L for non-delivery of flat
New Delhi: No leniency should be shown to "unscrupulous litigants" who file "meritless" petitions in different foras to cover up their faults, the apex consumer commission has held while asking a real-estate firm to pay Rs 7.7 lakh for not handing over possession of flat in time.
"No leniency should be shown to litigants who in order to cover up their own fault and negligence, go on filing meritless petitions in different foras.
"Equity demands that such unscrupulous litigants whose only aim and object is to deprive the other party of the fruits of the decree must be dealt with heavy hands," the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission\'s (NCDRC) said and imposed a cost of Rs 20,000 on the Delhi-based firm.
A bench presided by Justice V B Gupta made the observation while dismissing the plea of Dreamland Promoters and Consultants against the Delhi State Consumer Commission\'s August 18, 2011 order, upholding a District Forum verdict.
The district forum had directed the real-estate firm to refund the Rs seven lakh paid by Pramod Kumar, hailing from Uttar Pradesh, for booking a two-bedroom flat in a housing project of the firm and to pay him Rs 50,000 as compensation.
Kumar in his complaint had said that he had booked a two bed-room flat in a housing scheme of the firm and had deposited a total of Rs seven lakh through two installments of Rs 3.5 lakh each, on June 6, 2006 and January 19, 2007.
The flat was to be delivered within 12 months from the date of application, however, even after three years, not only was the possession of the flat not delivered to him, but there was also ambiguity regarding the status of the construction, Kumar had alleged.
In its written statement, the firm while admitting it had received the Rs seven lakh, had contended that subsequent installments had not been paid by Kumar, who had filed the complaint only to harass and defame it.
The NCDRC while dismissing the firm\'s petition said, "two fora below have given detailed and reasoned orders which do not call for any interference."
The district forum while allowing Kumar\'s plea had said that the firm had not filed any evidence to show or mention what was the status of the construction of the flats and that as per terms and conditions of the agreement between them, if possession was not delivered in 12 months, the advance amount was to be refunded.
The State Commission while upholding the district forum\'s order had rejected the contention of the builder that it was not given any chance to defend itself, saying that on the face of the record, opportunity had been given to both parties to plead their case and the matter was disposed of only after hearing both parties.
9 charged with forgery, fraud in housing society scandal
New Delhi: Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Special Judge Vinod Kumar on Wednesday framed charges against nine persons, including former Registrar of Cooperative Societies (RCS) Narayan Diwakar, for registering a society under forged documents in 2003.
Other than Diwakar, several other officials of the department were charged with cheating, forgery and fraud under the Prevention of Corruption Act. The case was about Shri Narayan Co-operative Group Housing Society Ltd, which had been registered with the RCS.
But the housing society was liquidated in 1978 because members of the society were not keen on continuing with it.
In 2003, a person named Vishwanath Aggarwal requested that the housing project be revived, allegedly claiming that he was the society’s secretary. He then fraudulently enrolled 65 new members, the CBI said.
In connivance with RCS officials, including dealing assistants and an assistant registrar, he and co-accused Sri Chand managed to take over the society and got it revived using forged documents and reports, CBI said.
Investigations conducted by the CBI revealed that another accused, Ramesh Chandra, the then assistant registrar (East), appointed Faiz Mohammad as inspecting officer, who submitted his report in 2007.
In his report, he said he had visited the society’s office and inspected all the records available with Aggarwal.
It was found that Diwakar and Balam Singh Aswal, working as an election officer, gave the clearance for the revival of the society.
The prosecution told the court that there was no evidence to prove that the officials of the Registrar of Cooperative Societies made monetary gains from the fraud.
But it was clear that their action could have paved the way to make money on the sly from the builder mafia after allocation of land for the housing society, the investigating agency said.
The court said a case of abuse of official position and involvement in a criminal conspiracy could be made out against the RCS officials.
The court dismissed Diwakar’s argument that he was not involved and had merely passed an order on the basis of a report from his subordinates.
The court said: “The registrar is not supposed to act mechanically on reports submitted by his subordinates. He is not a rubber stamp.”
Diwakar is an accused in a number of cases, involving housing societies. He was recently given a clean chit in another case because the CBI could not produce sufficient evidence against him.
All the accused have pleaded not guilty and were allowed bail. The court has fixed November 5 as the date for examination of prosecution evidence. The case is part of 150 similar housing society scandals that CBI is probing.
Parsvnath’s PPP project stuck in spat between Govt depts
NEW DELHI, JULY 27:
Despite public-private partnership being the flavour of the season, the Government seems to be in no mood to speed up regulatory clearances.
Over five years after it bagged the commercial rights of Delhi Metro’s Akshardham’s station, Parsvnath Ltd is unable to cash on the booming retail scenario.
The reason: Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is unable to get the required local Government clearance to hand over the commercial land use rights to Parsvnath.
The real estate player had bagged the lease rights for 30 years to develop the station. Parsvnath has completed its commitment with the station being operational for over two years now.
“The land use of the Akshardham station’s project with Parsvnath is Ridge/ River Bed. For commercial development land use, change is to be approved by Delhi Development Authority. DMRC is pushing with DDA for land-use change so that commercial development can be made,” DMRC said.
Parsvnath was supposed to build the Akshardham metro station and shopping mall in approximately 0.365 million sq ft area.
When contacted, Mr Pradeep Jain, Chairman, Parsvnath Developers, also echoed the sentiments of DMRC but declined to provide any number on the estimated loss due to delay.
Incidentally, French retailer Carrefour had opened its maiden cash-and-carry outlet near Seelampur metro station. Stating that projects at Inderlok, Pratapnagar and Shahdra were fully functional and Seelampur was partially operational, he said the company is all set to open malls at Azadpur and Akshardham in next six months.
“Space has been leased out to various retailers and the market is witnessing an increase in rentals.” The area reportedly commands a rental of Rs 200 a sq ft.
Parsvnath Developers had earlier said that it was hoping to mop up Rs 300 crore from rental income this year.
Parsvnath was one of the early movers in building stations along the metro rail. It is developing 15 projects comprising one commercial office space, two metro stations and 12 malls outside metro stations, all on DMRC land. Of these 15 projects, Parsvnath has successfully completed nine projects with a saleable area of 0.75 million sq ft.
New Delhi: Sobha Developers today reported 73.08 per cent increase in consolidated net profit at Rs 45 crore for the first quarter ended June 30.
The company had posted a net profit of Rs 26 crore in the corresponding period last year.
The consolidated total operating inceom during the first quarter also went up by 56 per cent to Rs 433.2 crore from Rs 277.7 crore in the year-ago period, Sobha Developers said in a statement.
Commenting on the numbers, Sobha Developers Vice-Chairman and Managing Director J C Sharma said: "The cash flow from operations continues to remain positive. During the quarter, the company generated an operational cash flow of Rs 73 crore. We are confident of achieving our guidance for the current fiscal as well."
Shares of Sobha Developers today closed 2.32 per cent up at Rs 362.20 apiece on the BSE.
Sobha Developers sales booking in Q1 up 58% at Rs 479 crore
NEW DELHI: Real estate firm Sobha Developers reported 58 per cent rise in sales booking during the first quarter of this fiscal at Rs 479 crore on the back of higher realisation and more volumes.
In an investors presentation, the Bangalore-based Sobha Developers said it is targeting "sales value of Rs 2,000 crore for the financial year 2012-13" against a sales booking of Rs 1,701 crore in the last fiscal.
During April-June quarter, sales in volume terms increased by 25 per cent at 0.84 million sq ft as against 0.67 million sq ft in the corresponding period of the last year.
In value terms, the company recorded a sales booking of Rs 479 crore during Q1 of FY'13 against Rs 303 crore in the year-ago period.
"Achieved average price realisation of Rs 5,737/sq ft during Q1-13, as against Rs 4,547/sq ft during Q1-12, which is up by 26 per cent y-o-y," the company said.
Earlier this week, Sobha reported 73 per cent increase in net profit at Rs 44.9 crore for the quarter ended June against Rs 26 crore in the year-ago period.
The revenue was up by 57 per cent to Rs 435 crore during April-June quarter against Rs 278 crore in the corresponding period of last year.
Sobha Developers has projects in Bangalore, Gurgaon, Chennai, Pune, Thrissur, Coimbatore and Mysore.
The company has completed 80 real estate projects and 216 contractual projects covering about 52.98 million sq ft.
At present, the company has 38 ongoing housing projects aggregating to 23.50 million sq ft of developable area and 42 ongoing contractual projects aggregating to 9.22 million sq ft under various stages of construction.
DB Realty on Saturday reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 2.07 crore for the first quarter ended June 30, due to lower sales.
The real estate developer had posted a net profit of Rs 41.14 crore in the year-ago period.
Net sales of the company declined by 62 percent to Rs 84.92 crore during April-June, 2012 quarter from
Rs 221.50 crore in the corresponding period last fiscal, D B Realty said in a BSE filing.
The company has a portfolio of 70 million sq ft of prime property across 25 projects. Most of the projects are based in and around Mumbai, and are under various stages of planning and construction.
Why a cloud of scepticism looms over Indiabulls group despite strong financials
Sameer Gehlaut is livid. Over two angst-ridden hours on a Saturday afternoon, the 39-year old chairman & group CEO of the Rs 5,800 crore Indiabulls group along with his Man Friday Gagan Banga makes an impassioned plea to convince ET that the allegations of a Canadian investment research firm are "a bundle of lies." A week ago, Veritas Investment Research had put out a report slamming the "controlling shareholders" of the Indiabulls group for "running the organisation as a piggybank" and compromising corporate governance.
A couple of days later, the 12-year young enterprise with interests in financial services, real estate and power duly issued a full-page advertisement in newspapers that rubbishes each of the charges of the Veritas analysts. The bottom line: countering the firm's 'sell' recommendation on all Indiabulls stocks, the management contends that share prices of the group's listed companies have appreciated by 2,025% since an initial public offering in 2004 (after considering dividends and de-mergers).
The group has been quick to initiate criminal proceedings against the research outfit and he two analysts who wrote the report for publishing "false and factually incorrect data to create sensation and... (with) the sole purpose of selling their research reports for money." Neeraj Monga, the lead analyst who has created a reputation of sorts for himself by taking on some of India's biggest corporations, has denied that the report was orchestrated; he has further said that Veritas does not trade in stocks on which it writes reports.
Whilst it's likely that the report may have interpreted some data wrongly, Indiabulls, for its part, may have not been an epitome of corporate governance in the past. "There's a mixed view about them.
The market believes they are aggressive and have political connections. In a short span, they have entered many verticals and have managed sharp growth," says Arun Kejriwal, market analyst and CEO of investment consultancy firm KRIS.
"The market views anybody who grows so rapidly - particularly in their infancy stage - with suspicion." This may not be correct, and the image may get cleaner or murkier later on, adds Kejriwal, who feels the only way for the group to alter these perceptions is to become more communicative.
"They need to improve their perception and (for this) the promoters need to be more visible to the market," points out Rishi Sahai, a former fund manager at Infinity Ventures, one of the early investors in Indiabulls.
'Small Frogs In The Well' Gehlaut counters by reeling off a string of numbers and facts: that Indiabulls Financial Services (IBFSL) is the second most profitable mortgage finance company in the country and the 46th most profitable publicly listed firm; that Indiabulls Real Estate Ltd (IBREL) is the least leveraged realty company in India (with an outstanding debt of Rs 1,310 crore as on 30 June 2012); that two mills bought in Mumbai for Rs 745 crore have created some Rs 6,600 crore of value; and that two power projects in Amravati and Nashik of 5,400 MW will come on stream before the calendar year ends.
"We are known for our abilities at execution, and are confident of 20% growth in profits for the next five years," says Gehlaut. "Execution has been a key to their success so far," agrees Sahai, who now runs his own boutique investment bank called Cogence Advisors.
The chairman stresses the group wants to be low-profile and "small frogs of our well". But the co-founders - Gehlaut, Rajiv Rattan and Saurabh Mittal, along with Banga (a professional who has been there from the beginning and is more like a co-promoter now) - always thought big. Perhaps they could afford to because one of their first investments, in 2000, came from steel baron LN Mittal. LNM Holdings came in with angel funding of $1 million in broking start-up Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd (IBFSL). Mittal's initial investment, by virtue of stakes in two listed companies, has multiplied 60 times.
Yet, five years ago, when the India growth story was at its peak, the Indiabulls founder had blueprinted tall ambitions. "Financial services, real estate and retail are the key sectors for growth that will deliver double-digit growth over the next 20 years," Rattan, who now oversees the power projects, told a business magazine in 2007.
Gehlaut had ventured that "we were very lucky to be at the forefront of the India growth story". Buying And Selling Three years later, Banga had told ET that ArcelorMittal and Indiabulls would form a joint venture to explore opportunities to mine coal and iron ore. This led many to speculate that Indiabulls is Mittal's vehicle for investments in India, which the Indiabulls promoters deny. "He is a passive investor," says Gehlaut. Today, Banga says the mining ventures have been put on the backburner as there are no opportunities on the horizon. In retail, adds the chairman, "we made mistakes, cut our losses and exited."
The organised retailing foray began with the acquisition of Piramyd Retail, a lifestyle retail and convenience story chain, in 2007. The view within the group then was that retailing and real estate were synergistic; today, it is a different story. "There are structural issues in the business because of the high costs of retail estate," reckons the chairman. "Also, this is not the right time to get into retail; per capita income has to go up three times for retailing to work."
Similarly Indiabulls has pulled the plug on financial services forays that included insurance, mutual funds and credit cards. The promoters also realised that institutional broking "was not for us," and hence shut it down. "We are practical people; we believe cash is king and that we have to emerge with a strong balance sheet," says Gehlaut.
To be sure, at a time when much of India Inc is scrounging for liquidity, Indiabulls is awash in liquidity, which stood at Rs 6,000 crore at last count. Five listed companies are expected to grow revenues from Rs 5,800 crore in the last fiscal year to Rs 7,315 crore by March 2013; and posttax profits from just under Rs 1,300 crore to Rs 1,730 crore. "We do not want to grow at more than 20%," says a poker-faced Gehlaut.
If Indiabulls' financials look strong - at least on paper - during tough times, observers point out that it's because of their strong political connections. In the past, too, repeated run-ins with the market regulatory amounted to zilch with the group emerging unscathed every time.
Perhaps it's these alleged leanings that the Veritas analysts alluded to when they observed that "the association of reputed institutions, individuals and organisations within the company is vexing to say the least."
"We are as connected in political circle as any other business group. We have no special connections," insists Gehlaut.
TRIL to invest over Rs 1700 crore in next 2-3 years
KOCHI: Tata Realty and Infrastructure Ltd (TRIL) proposes to invest over Rs 1700 crore in two to three years for various projects in the country, including Rs 550 crore in Kochi for a premium waterfront residential property, 'Tritvam', at Marine Drive.
Apart from Rs 600 crore for developing roads, TRIL, a 100 per cent subsidiary of Tata Sons Ltd, would also invest Rs 180 crore in Logistics and Rs 160 crore in developing real estate part of Hotels, Sanjay G Ubale, the company's Managing Director and CEO, told reporters here.
The group plans to develop six hotels in India-- one each in Goa, Bangalore, Andamans and Nagpur and two in Chennai-- Taramani and Siriperumbudur.
On 'Tritvam', he said five towers with a total of 468 apartments would be built on about 8.44 acres.
The project has been designed by Internationally acclaimed and award winning Australian architectural firm Woods Bagot and construction has been awarded to Leighton, one of India's largest international contractors.
Kochi, considered Kerala's commercial capital, has grown at an unprecedented rate with the real estate sector alone showing a growth rate of over 30 per cent, he said.
The project with a total development area of 1.18 million square feet, would have 3, 4 BHK spacious duplex flats with various amenities like a 13,000 square feet club house, squash and tennis court, jogging track, Yoga studio, swimming pools with pool decks and cafes.
Piling for the project is almost complete and is expected to be ready by December 2014. In 18-20 months, about 180 apartments in two of towers are expected to be completed.
HDIL cuts gross debt by Rs 203 cr in first half of 2012
NEW DELHI: Realty firm Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd's (HDIL) gross debt has come down by 5 per cent in the first six months of the current calendar year and stood at Rs 4,040 crore as on June 30.
"Consolidated gross debt reduced by Rs 203 crore in the last 6 months," HDIL said in a presentation.
The gross debt stood at Rs 4,243 crore as on December 31, 2011, it added.
Last week, HDIL reported 44 per cent fall in consolidated net profit at Rs 105.38 crore for the quarter ended June 30 on lower sales. The Mumbai-based developer had posted net profit of Rs 189.43 crore in the year-ago period.
The company's revenue declined by 61 per cent to Rs 201.16 crore in the first quarter of this fiscal, from Rs 514.36 crore in the April-June period of 2011-12 financial year.
In the presentation, HDIL said it has a land bank of 229.93 million sq ft as on 30th June, 2012.
"Currently, approx 88 million sq ft sale area of projects are under construction...22 ongoing projects with a combination of residential, commercial & SRA (slum rehabilitation)," it added.
HDIL is executing the largest rehabilitation project of about 85,000 slum dwellers under expansion and modernisation of Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai.
New Delhi: Realty firm Omaxe Ltd sold properties worth Rs 436 crore during the first quarter of this fiscal, down by 16 per cent from the year-ago period.
The company had achieved a sales booking of Rs 522 crore in the April-June quarter of last fiscal.
In an analyst presentation, Omaxe reported that it sold 2.01 million sq ft of area in the first quarter of 2012-13 fiscal as against 2.62 million sq ft in the corresponding period of previous year.
However, the average sales realisation improved to Rs 2,167 per sq ft from Rs 1,996 a sq ft during the period under review. Haryana, Punjab and Uttar Pradesh were the major contributors in the sales bookings.
On debt position, the presentation said gross debt has reduced by Rs 45 crore during the quarter and stood at Rs 1,295 crore as on June 30, 2012 against Rs 1,340 crore at the beginning of this fiscal.
The company needs to repay Rs 377 crore in the remaining nine months of this fiscal.
Earlier this month, Omaxe had reported a decline of 9.24 per cent in its consolidated net profit for the quarter ended June 30 at Rs 18.18 crore as against Rs 20.03 crore in the same quarter last year.
The consolidated total income from operations during the first quarter, however, went up by 11.22 per cent to Rs 368.30 crore from Rs 331.15 crore in the year-ago period.
Omaxe is currently developing 16 housing, 19 townships, and nine commercial projects. That apart, it is also undertaking 10 contractual projects for other parties.
The company's share price was up by nearly one per cent at Rs 156.95 on the Bombay Stock Exchange in late trade.