Flat buy­ers en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion for de­layed pos­ses­sion: SC

RUL­ING Builders to pay up for fail­ure to ful­fil amenity prom­ises

Hindustan Times (Chandigarh) - - News - Press Trust of In­dia

NEWDELHI:THE Supreme Court on Mon­day held that the flat buy­ers are en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion for “de­layed hand­ing over of pos­ses­sion” and for the fail­ure of the devel­oper to ful­fil their prom­ises with re­gard to ameni­ties.

The top court set aside the ver­dict of the Na­tional Con­sumer Dis­putes Re­dres­sal Com­mis­sion (NCDRC) which, on July 2, 2019, had dis­missed the com­plaints of 339 flat buy­ers by hold­ing that they were not en­ti­tled to the com­pen­sa­tion in ex­cess of what was stip­u­lated in their flat pur­chase agree­ments for de­layed pos­ses­sion and the lack of as­sured ameni­ties.

The pur­chasers had booked res­i­den­tial flats with DLF South­ern Homes Pvt Ltd, now known as Be­gur OMR Homes Pvt. Ltd, in a pro­ject called Wes­tend Heights at New Town, DLF, BTM Ex­ten­sion at Begu, Bengaluru. The pro­ject was be­ing de­vel­oped in an area ad­mea­sur­ing 27.5 acres and was to con­sist of 1980 units, spread across nine­teen tow­ers each con­sist­ing of a stilt and eigh­teen floors. They had moved the NCDRC seek­ing com­pen­sa­tion on ac­count of de­lay in hand­ing over pos­ses­sion of the flats, re­im­burse­ment of taxes and in­ter­est charged to the flat pur­chasers un­der the agree­ment , de­fi­ciency in pro­vid­ing ameni­ties, levy of elec­tric­ity charges by the devel­oper and fail­ure to con­struct the club house. The NCDRC had held that de­lay in the hand­ing over of flats to the pur­chasers was ad­mit­ted, but the agree­ments had pro­vided com­pen­sa­tion at the rate of Rs 5 per square foot of the su­per area for ev­ery month of de­lay.

The NCDRC had also held that the flat pur­chasers who agreed to this stip­u­la­tion in the agree­ments were not en­ti­tled to seek any amount in ad­di­tion.

“We have come to the con­clu­sion that the dis­missal of the com­plaint by the NCDRC was er­ro­neous. The flat buy­ers are en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion for de­layed hand­ing over of pos­ses­sion and for the fail­ure of the devel­oper to ful­fil the rep­re­sen­ta­tions made to flat buy­ers in re­gard to the pro­vi­sion of ameni­ties.

“The rea­son­ing of the NCDRC on th­ese facets suf­fers from a clear per­ver­sity and patent er­rors of law which have been no­ticed in the ear­lier part of this judg­ment. Al­low­ing the ap­peals in part, we set aside the im­pugned judg­ment and or­der of the NCDRC dated July 2, 2019 dis­miss­ing the con­sumer com­plaint,” a bench of Jus­tices D Y Chan­drachud and K M Joseph said in its 53-page judg­ment.

The bench said the flat own­ers are en­ti­tled to the com­pen­sa­tion in ex­cess of the amount stip­u­lated in their agree­ments with the de­vel­op­ers. The com­pen­sa­tion amount shall be com­puted on the to­tal money paid to­wards the pur­chase of the re­spec­tive flats with ef­fect from the date of ex­piry of thirty-six months from the ex­e­cu­tion of the re­spec­tive flat pur­chase agree­ments un­til the date of the of­fer of pos­ses­sion af­ter the re­ceipt of the oc­cu­pa­tion cer­tifi­cate, it said. The com­pen­sa­tion amount shall be in ad­di­tion to the money which has been paid over or cred­ited by the devel­oper at the rate of Rs 5 per square foot per month, it said.

REP­RE­SEN­TA­TIVE IM­AGE/HT FILE

The bench said flat own­ers are en­ti­tled to com­pen­sa­tion in ex­cess of the amount stip­u­lated in agree­ments.

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