Unitech ordered to pay Rs 4 crore for delay in delivering homes
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed real estate developer Unitech Ltd to refund amount of nearly Rs 4 crore to a group of buyers for delay in delivering homes to them in Gurgaon. The buyers had approached the commission after the developer failed to give them possession of apartments, under its Vistas project in Sector 70, as per the agreement signed more than five years ago. The builder was supposed to give possession within 36 months from the date of the agreement.
“The opposite party (Unitech) is directed to refund the amount paid to it by the complainants along with compensation in the form of simple interest at 18 per cent per annum calculated from the date of each payment till the date the said amount is paid along with the interest in terms of this order,” Justice VK Jain, presiding member NCDRC, and Dr BC Gupta, member NCDRC, said in the order.
The case relates to eight buyers who had booked the homes with the builder in 2010 after paying in the range of Rs 26.5 lakh to Rs 55 lakh each. In their clubbed plea filed at NCDRC, while six buyers wanted the money back with compensation, two others sought possession of the flats in a stipulated time and compensation from the builder.
Accusing the builder for failing to offer the possession as promised in the agreement, the petition highlighted that except for a certain portion of the project, construction had not even started.
“There was no civil commotion, war, enemy action, terrorist action, earthquake or any act of God which could have delayed the completion of the project within the time stipulated in the Buyers Agreement,” the commission observed while rejecting the “economic slowdown” excuse of the builder.
The builder has also been directed to pay Rs 5,000 to each of the buyers as litigation charges. Counting the amount paid by these buyers and the interest taken together, the builder will need to pay nearly Rs 4 crore as per the order.
NRIs can purchase any house in India: Consumer court
Non-resident Indians (NRIs) who return to the country “every now and then” can purchase a house in India, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has said while asking Supertech Ltd to pay around Rs 64 lakh to an NRI for denying possession of a flat in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh.
In 2008, Delhi resident Reshma Bhagat and her son Tarun Bhagat had booked a flat in the builder's project. The firm was scheduled to hand over its possession to the complainant in 2009 and when it did not construct the house, the Bhagats approached the consumer commission for refund and damages, the complaint said.
The firm had opposed the complaint, claiming that the flat was booked in the name of Tarun, an NRI, and that it was not for residing purpose but solely to earn profit – so, he could not claim to be a ‘consumer’ himself.
The commission, presided by Justice JM Malik, rejected the firm’s contention, saying “it cannot be made a ‘rule of thumb’ that every NRI cannot own a property in India. NRIs do come to India every now and then. Most of the NRIs have to return to their native land. Each NRI wants a house in India. He (Tarun) is an independent person and can purchase any house in India, in his own name.”