28 yrs on, widow gets refund for flat her husband bought
Man bought flat in Bhandup in 1984 but couldn't move in as building wasn't finished; now his widow gets Rs 1.74 lakh after court asks builder to refund money with interest for all these years
In a property case that outlived her husband, a woman will get refund for a flat he purchased almost three decades back but was never given ownership over. The Navi Mumbai-based couple had rightfully bought the flat in Bhandup in 1984, but couldn’t move in since the builder did not hand over its possession due to incomplete construction.
Now, the court has ordered an amount of Rs 49,502 be recompensed to his widow, with interest for 28 years. The additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum in Bandra directed the builder that the amount paid for the flat be returned with interest to K Prabhavati, wife of the deceased KV Gurunathan.
Gurunathan had purchased a 400 sq ft flat at Anubhav CHS, Bhandup (West) for Rs 44,000 on March 26, 1984. He had paid Rs 15,251 as earnest money to City Builders, the firm that constructed the building. He paid an additional amount of Rs 24,251. According to Prabhavati, a resident of Sanpada’s Palm Beach Road, her husband had also paid Rs 35,000 in cash, but did not get a receipt for it.
According to Prabhavati’s complaint, the builder did not complete construction in time, and did not hand over the flat’s possession. The flat purchasers then came together and formed a society. Despite this, they were not given their flats, or refunded the money they had paid for them.
Not the first time
Earlier, Prabhavati had approached the court in 2007, but her complaint had been dismissed on technical grounds. She had not been able to prove she was Gurunathan’s wife. They had been married since 1990. On appeal, the complaint was remanded back to the Bandra forum, where Prabhavati produced her marriage certificate.
After reviewing the sale agreement and other records of the transaction, the court found that another person, one Pandurang Ambre, was currently in possession of the flat. It also noted that Prabhavati had not produced any evidence of the Rs 35,000 her husband had supposedly paid. So it ordered the builder to refund Rs 49,502 along with 9 per cent interest from 1984 onwards. The current market value of properties in Bhandup ranges between Rs 8,000-12,000 per sq feet.