A Goregaon couple won Rs. 5 lakh as compensation from a builder who did not hand over an apartment despite collecting more than 90% of the flat cost from them.
Ameet Israni and his wife Meenal had booked a 1,249 sq ft flat in Bhumiraj Constructions’ ‘Hermitage’ project at Sanpada, Navi Mumbai, for a total cost of Rs. 34.65 lakh. By January 2006, the couple had paid Rs. 33.1 lakh in installments. An agreement had been registered, the stamp duty paid.
However, on January 4, 2006, the couple was shocked to receive a letter from the developer unilaterally terminating the August 2005 agreement stating that the couple had failed to pay penal interest at the rate of 24% on delayed payments. This compelled the Isranis to approach the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission.
The developer argued that the couple had booked the flat when the building was completed up to 12th slab, and therefore, was required to pay an amount of Rs. 23 lakh upfront while registering the agreement.
The commission, however, did not find any mention of this either in the booking form, the provisional allotment letter or the agreement and none of the documents stipulated payment of interest on the amount. It held Bhumiraj Constructions guilty of deficiency in service and concluded that besides getting possession of the flat, the couple was entitled to compensation for the mental agony faced by them for six years.