February,18,2016: The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed leading real estate developer, Unitech Ltd to refund amount of nearly Rs 4 crore to a group of buyers for delay in delivering homes to them in Gurgaon.
The buyers had approached the commission after the developer failed to give them possession of apartments, under its Vistas project in Sector 70, as per the agreement signed more than five years ago. The builder was supposed to give possession within 36 months from the date of the agreement.
“The opposite party (Unitech) is directed to refund the amount paid to it by the complainants along with compensation in the form of simple interest at 18% per annum calculated from the date of each payment till the date the said amount is paid along with the interest in terms of this order,” Justice VK Jain, Presiding Member NCDRC and Dr BC Gupta, Member NCDRC said in the order passed earlier this week.
The case relates to eight buyers who had booked the homes with the builder in 2010 after paying between Rs 26.5 lakh to Rs 55 lakh each between 2009 and 2011. In their clubbed plea filed at NCDRC, while six buyers wanted the money back with compensation, two others sought possession of the flats in a stipulated time and compensation from the builder.
The amount paid by these buyers and interest taken together, the builder will need to pay nearly Rs 4 crore as per the order.
Accusing the builder for failing to offer the possession as promised in the agreement, the petition highlighted that except for a certain portion of the project, construction had not event started.
“There was no civil commotion, war, enemy action, terrorist action, earthquake or any act of God which could have delayed the completion of the project within the time stipulated in the Buyers Agreement,” the commission observed while rejecting the “economic slow-down” excuse of the builder.
For the buyers who wanted possession of the flat with compensation, the commission order directed the builder to offer possession as per the dates stipulated in the letter dated May, 27, 2015 and also pay 12% per annum compensation to the buyers as per the agreement for the delay.
The builder has also been directed to pay Rs 5000 to each of the buyers as litigation charges.
In an email reply, a Unitech spokesperson said, “The company’s legal team is still examining the order in detail, however a similar order pertaining to the same project was challenged by the company before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India and after hearing the matter an interim stay has been granted on the recoveries.”
The earlier SC order against Unitech was related to compensation for the delay in the same project by a different set of buyers and not refund of the buyer’s money. HT
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