Boomerang, the prime commercial building developed by Kanakia Group, in Chandivali, has been attached by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation for nonpayment of property taxes to the tune of Rs 7.36 crore.
The notice issued by the Superintendent and Assistant Assessor and Collector of “L” ward was pasted by BMC officials inside the building on Saturday. The building’s water connection has also been reportedly cut, shocking the owners of office units and members of the Boomerang Co-operative Premises Society Ltd, which has more than 125 members.
The warrant of attachment mentions the name Ms Hindustan Transmission Company Kanakia, and Ms Centaur Mercantile Pvt Ltd. The notice has been served to A1 and B wing of the building and it prohibits anyone from selling, transferring or renting any part of the property till the dues are paid. The notice also warned that unless the dues are paid to the municipal office within 21 days, the property will be sold.
The notice mentioned that the outstanding property taxes are for the period 2013-2018. Boomerang is an eight-storey boomerang-shaped office building developed by Kanakia Group housing the offices of companies like Eclinicalworks, Fedex, Technip, GPX India, Air Mauritius, Samsung among others.
While the notice has been issued in the name of Ms Hindustan Transmission Company Kanakia, and Ms Centaur Mercantile Pvt Ltd, there appeared to be an ongoing dispute between the unit owners who are members of the Boomerang Co-operative Premises Society Ltd, and the Kanakia Group, which led to the Deputy Registrar of Co-operative Societies appointing an administrator on the society in November 2018.
While the unit owners said the promoter is liable to pay the property tax dues as it had not completed the conveyance and proper handover to the society, the Kanakia Group said the building was handed over to the Boomerang Society two years ago, and these dues could be of individual unit owners using the premises.
“Affairs and management of the society were handed over on January 1, 2017. The society was registered under the provisions of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act and the society is now responsible for the day-to-day affairs, including the maintenance of the property,” said a spokesperson for Centaur Mercantile Pvt Ltd said.
“It seems that that some of the unit holders have not discharged payment towards the assessment bill. In the present circumstances, the developer cannot be held responsible for the payment of the assessment bills after handing over accounts and day-to-day management to the society.”
“The notice mentions the names of original land owners, but Kanakia Group is the promoter of the building. That’s why these notices have not come individually to unit owners in A1 and B wing. Why else would the entire building be attached? Section 6 of Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act clearly says that until conveyance is completed, the promoter is liable to pay all the taxes including property tax,” Prakash Agarwal, one of the society members whose company Ms Vidushi Technical and Commercial Services Ltd is located in A wing, told Mumbai Mirror. He said the latest ruling on this from Maharashtra Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission came in October 2018 in Jyoti Avenue Co-operative Housing Society vs Ms Jyoti Developers and Builders and Sachdeva Housing Pvt Ltd.
When contacted, administrator Satish Kakade said: “It is true that the warrant of attachment has been served on Boomerang building for non-payment of property tax dues. But, I wasn’t present when the notice was served, and hence I am not able to tell you whether the promoter or the unit owners are liable to pay. I have convened an emergency meeting on Tuesday to find out who exactly is liable to pay these dues.”
Kakade was appointed as the administrator on November 13, 2018, with the mandate of conducting fresh elections within a period of three months. “The previous managing committee had resigned over disputes between the developer and the society over several issues. However, it’s been over three months, and Kakade has not conducted fresh elections yet. We have written to Minister of Cooperation and the relevant authorities,” said Agarwal, who also filed a public interest litigation in the Bombay High Court yesterday.