New Delhi: The Supreme Court today said it
would set a dangerous trend if the claim is accepted that
garages earmarked for parking can be sold as separate flats.
"If the argument is to be accepted, it may set a
dangerous trend. Somebody would purchase a flat another will
buy a garage, a third person may go for a shop," a bench of
Justices R M Lodha and A K Patnaik said but at the same time
clarified that these were "tentative observations".
The bench said it would examine whether promoters/
builders can sell garages constructed in the stilted ground
floor for parking as separate flats, instead of providing
it as a free common area.
The apex court further pointed out that parking was a
major problem even in a city like Delhi where people today are
forced to park their vehicles on roadside.
The apex court was dealing with an SLP filed by
Mumbai-based real estate bulder Nahalchand Laloochand Private
Limited challenging a Bombay High Court judgement that a
garage was an appurtenant (belonging) and part of the common
area belonging to the flat owners and hence cannot be sold as
an independent flat.
In this case, the promoters had constructed 56
residential flats christened Panchali Apartments in Mumbai
spread over seven floors and 28 parking garages in the stilted
According to the promoters, they entered into individual
agreements for sale of flats/shops/open/stilted parking places
with various purchasers.
It was claimed that the purchasers, all of whom were
members of Panchali Co-Operative Housing Society, executed
undertakings that they are not entitled to claim a right to
the stilted parking places as common areas.
However, the petition alleged that in violation of the
undertakings, individual members of the society broke open the
locks of the garages and forcibly occupied it on the argument
that they were entitled to use it for parking as it
constituted the common area of the apartment.
A trial court and the Bombay High Court both dismissed
the plea of the promoters against the flat owners.