A person who had sold 6.16 acres for construction of premium residential complex Metrozone at Anna Nagar in Chennai in 2006 has approached the Madras High Court for implementation of an arbitral award passed in his favour and against the developer Ozone Projects Private Limited on March 12 this year.
K. Venkataraman, a retired judge of the High Court, had passed the award directing the developer to complete the construction of Towers V, F and Z and hand over 1,10,000 square feet of carpet space in them to the claimant G.N. Pandian within six months. He also ordered payment of arrears of ₹4.62 crore with interest.
The arbitrator had held that the claimant was entitled to the arrears of ₹4.62 crore for the period between October 2016 and February 2018, after deducting the amounts that had already been paid, and that he must also be paid ₹30 lakh a month thereafter excluding the COVID-19 period between March 2020 and June 2021.
The arbitral tribunal had also held that the claimant was entitled to costs of ₹25 lakh for the series of litigations that he had to face for the last 14 years to realise his dues. Mr. Venkataraman pointed out that the developer had initially agreed to purchase the 6.16 acres for ₹37.5 crore and paid ₹19 crore as advance amount.
Thereafter, citing financial crunch, the developer took back ₹11.5 crore and allowed the claimant to retain only ₹7.5 crore as advance money. For the rest of the ₹30 crore, it was agreed that the claimant would be allotted 1,10,000 square feet of carpet space of which 1,07,718 square feet would be in Tower V alone.
As per the agreement signed between them on March 2, 2006, the carpet space must be built and allotted within 24 months along with proportionate Undivided Share (UDS). If the construction could not be completed within two years, the developer must pay a compensation at the rate of ₹20 per square feet every month.
In 2016, the compensation amount was increased to ₹30 lakh a month. Since the construction had not been completed till now and there was default on payment of compensation too, the claimant had initiated arbitration proceedings. Defending itself before the tribunal, the developer cited many reasons for the delay in completing the construction.
Ozone Projects claimed that there was delay in obtaining approvals for the construction because of vexatious litigations by previous landowners from whom the claimant had purchased the lands in 1996. It also said, there was shortage of sand supply in the State and that it was the claimant who had chosen Tower V which falls in last phase of construction.
The arbitrator refused to accept the reasons and passed the award in favour of the claimant leading to the present execution petition.