As many as forty winners of the housing lottery of Maharashtra Housing and Development Authority (MHADA) have moved the Bombay High Court against the latter's demand of additional Rs 15 lakh each as the consideration for the flats.
Saying that the matter required scrutiny, the court has, for now, asked the allottees to pay the amount by January 31, without any prejudice to their contention that such a hike in the price was unjust.
If MHADA loses the case, it would have to return the amount with interest, the division bench of Justices R Y Ganoo and S F Vajifdar said on Monday.
The judges clarified that in the event of the petition being dismissed, it would not affect the petitioners' title to the flats. MHADA had demanded the payment by December 18, or before in some cases, but High Court extended the time.
"In view of the fact that we are of the opinion that the matter requires consideration and in view of uncertainties created which cannot be attributed to the petitioners, the ends of justice require the petitioners being given reasonable time," the High Court said.
More importantly, the court observed that delay in payment "is not occasioned on account of any breach of the contractual obligations" by allottees.
The petitioners, who won the MHADA's lottery, were originally supposed to pay Rs 34,75,000 as the price of the each flat.