Thane builder fined Rs 1 lakh for not giving possession of flat to buyer
Holding a builder guilty of being deficient in service, the Thane District Consumer's Disputes Redressal Forum has imposed a fine of Rs one lakh on him for not giving possession of a flat to a buyer.
The forum also ordered that in case the builder failed to hand over the possession of the said flat to the buyer as per its order, then he would have to pay a penalty of Rs 500 per day until the house was given to its owner.
The order was delivered last week by Forum president Umesh Jawalikar and member N D Kadam, who heard a complaint filed by flat owner, Bhima Jadhav, a resident of Kalyan.
The complainant had booked a 550 square feet tenement at a cost of Rs 4.95 lakhs in Suchita Apartments constructed by Premnath Vishnu Mhatre of Nilesh Constructions in suburban Dombivali.
In June 2004, Jadhav made Rs 5,000 as initial payment and entered into an agreement with the builder for possession of the flat after a month.
He had obtained a loan of Rs 3 lakh from Kalyan Janata Sahakari Bank for the house purchase and paid Rs 2.7 lakh to the builder through cheque for the same.
Besides, he had paid Rs 75,000 cash. Thus, he paid a total of Rs 3.75 lakh. However, the builder did not give possession of the flat as had been agreed upon, the complainant said and added that despite repeated reminders the respondent did not pay heed to his communications.
Jadhav said that he had offered to make the balance payment at the time of possession, however, the builder was not ready to give him the possession of the flat. The complainant also told the forum that he had sent the builder legal notice and that too did not have any effect, hence, he had to approach the forum.
In his submission, he urged the forum to order the builder to give possession of the tenement to him and also payment of interest at 21 per cent on the amount of Rs 3.5 lakh paid by him and also a sum of Rs 2 lakh towards compensation and another Rs 50,000 as legal expenses.
After going through the documentary evidence before it, the forum held that the builder was deficient in his services towards the customer.
The forum stated that as the complainant had no proof of payment of Rs 75,000 to the builder, that amount could not be taken into account while awarding the compensation.
The forum ordered that the builder should hand over the possession of the tenement to the complainant within a period of three months, once the complainant pays the balance amount of the total cost of Rs 4.95 lakh for the flat. In case the builder fails to hand over the possession as per the order, then he will pay a penalty of Rs 500 per day of delay till the possession is given, the forum ordered.
The forum also ordered the builder to get the flat registered in the name of the complainant within three months and also provide him the agreed facilities. The matter was decided ex-parte against the builder as he did not respond to the notices sent by the Forum.