Sanket Shirsekar
Sanket Shirsekar

This Kanjurmarg resident ensured that when a Ghatkopar builder cheated him of his promised flat, he took him to the cleaners and got his rightful due back.

Also read - Mumbai: Court orders builder to pay buyer Rs 8.5 lakh for duping him out of 10 sq ft

In a ruling at the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Sanket Shirsekar, a chartered accountant, won his case against Rupaji Constructions and has been awarded a refund of the Rs 9.36 lakh booking amount with 18 per cent interest per year since 2011, Rs 1 lakh compensation for mental agony and Rs 10,000 as cost of litigation, all to be cleared within two months.

The issue
Shirsekar had filed the case under section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, as he claimed that after he responded to an advertisement in February 2011 about an upcoming project in Pant Nagar, Ghatkopar, with a delivery date of September 2014 and the other permissions all in place, he decided to invest in a BHK. The size of the flat on the 10th floor was supposed to be 520 sqft, so they agreed upon a price of R46.8 lakh, of which he would pay the first instalment of 20 per cent, i.e R9.36 lakh with two cheques and the remaining sum depended on the progress of the project.

Also read - Pune: Consumer Forum directs builder to pay Rs 9.6 lakh compensation

However, Shirsekar contends that consistent follow-ups with the builder led to the realisation that there was no construction happening.

Advocate Mayur Mehta said, “Then on October 30, he received a letter demanding R24,102 towards Service Tax for the booking of the flat. But, he refused to pay the amount. Later in June 2014, the builder informed Shirsekar that there were changes in the project and the area of the flat now stood at 670 sqft for which he would have to fork over an additional R15,000 per sqft.”

Contentious position
“Considering the attitude of the builder, on August 24, Shirsekar sent a conditional cancellation letter for the refund of the booking amount with interest, but there was no response. It was then that Shirsekar issued a legal notice for the refund with 18 per cent interest. As there was no compliance again, Shirsekar filed this complaint with the consumer court,” said advocate Devendra Shinde.

The other side
Despite repeated attempts, the builder was not reachable for comment.