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Home > Mumbai > Mumbai News > Article > Flat buyer gets justice 12 years after booking flat in Kalyan

Flat buyer gets justice 12 years after booking flat in Kalyan

Updated on: 01 July,2022 07:49 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Vinod Kumar Menon |

The buyer had moved the court after the developer offered to pay compensation in 2017 for failing to complete the project, but cheques bounced thrice

Flat buyer gets justice 12 years after booking flat in Kalyan

Incomplete flats at the Lifestyle City township project in Ambivli, Kalyan

We are at the mercy of developers, who neither complete the project nor refund the amount taken, even after decades,” said a flat buyer, who had booked a flat at the Lifestyle City township project in Ambivli, Kalyan almost 12 years ago. In an order last week, the city civil court directed Nirmal developers to pay the buyer the principal amount paid towards the flat along with interest. The plaintiff, Raghunathan Vaikkath, 50, said that the developer had failed to honour cheques issued to him thrice, which led him to approach the court in the case.

mid-day, in its article ‘Decade after project launch, buyers await possession’ on February 4, 2019, reported about the plight and suffering of hundreds of flat buyers, some of whom continue to pay their bank EMIs till this date, who had invested in this project.

The transactions

Vaikkath, who works as a service engineer in a private firm in Bhandup, had booked a 500-sqft 1BHK flat in Phase 3 of the project, for a total consideration of Rs 16 lakh, in June 2010. In August that year, he made an additional payment of Rs 2.35 lakh, bringing his total contribution to Rs 2.85 lakh.

However, the project got stuck. “As there was no progress at the construction site for over six years, sometime in 2017, the developer expressed his desire to refund the booking and principal amount paid in 2010, by issuing two post-dated cheques—one for the principal amount and another towards the interest—for a total of R4.89 lakh. But the cheque bounced thrice due to insufficient funds, and subsequent legal notice sent to the developer yielded no result,” Vaikkath said in his plea to the court.

Court observation

During the hearing, the court noted that the defendant, Nirmal Developers, remained absent and failed to challenge the evidence presented by Vaikkath. The court added that as the developer had offered to pay compensation to the flat buyer and issued the cheques, the developer had acknowledged his liability, and therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to the outstanding amount.

Further, city civil court judge R K Kshirsagar, in her order, directed the developer to pay Rs 4,89,235 to the plaintiff along with interest at the rate of 9 per cent per annum on the principal amount from October 9, 2018, till actual realisation of the order.

Plaintiff’s side

Advocate Anil D’souza, for Vaikkath, said, “The court has given an order in record time of less than 18 months. Aggrieved flat buyers should approach the court, while Nirmal Group should make every effort to reach out to the customers who had put their faith and trust in the group but are now left in the lurch.”

Vaikkath told mid-day, “I had trusted the developer as he was a well-known name and had completed some projects on time. It was to be my first house and I was looking forward to getting possession, which never happened. I still live in a rented apartment in Airoli while waiting to get back the money I paid for what I had hoped would be my first house.”

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