A vexed legal tangle awaits the Balakrishnan Nair committee constituted to look into the disbursement of compensation for Maradu apartment owners as the ownership of more than half of the total number of apartments is still with the builders.
An initial assessment of the ownership records available with the Maradu municipality indicated that 191 of the 343 individual apartments were still with the builders. It appeared that in a large number of cases, individual buyers did not bother to get the ownership of the flats changed to their name even after completing the payment.
In all such cases, the name of the builders would be entered as owners of the apartments in revenue records, making the identification of the real owners eligible for compensation a complicated issue.
All the 122 apartments in Jain Coral Cove were found to be in the name of the builder in revenue and municipal records. Ownership certificates have not been issued to individual apartment owners as the entire structure was reported to be an illegal one.
In H2O Holy Faith, 49 flats were found owned by the builder whereas the builder of Alfa Serene had 11 and the builder of Golden Kayaloram had nine housing units against their names.
The builders are ineligible for the compensation awarded by the Supreme Court as the court has frozen their assets and bank accounts. While asking the State to pay the individual apartment owners ₹25 lakh each as interim compensation in four weeks, the court had directed to recover the amount from the builders.
A few apartment owners have already raised the ownership issue with the civic authorities of Maradu. The individual apartment owners may have the sale deeds and other documents in their possession but not the crucial ownership certificate.
It raises the question whether they could be considered as the legal owner of the apartments when the name of the builder is shown as the owner of the property in the revenue records, revenue officials said.
It would the first issue that may come up for consideration of the Balakrishnan Nair committee . The residents have been advised to take up the issue with the committee, sources said.