For having wrongly deducted 2% of earnest money deposited by applicants for allotment of apartments in Purab Premium Apartments project, Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) will have to pay Rs 20,000 each as compensation to five applicants for “unfair trade practice and deficiency in services.”
Purab Premium Apartments was an ambitious project of GMADA and it was the first initiative of the authority to offer apartments in high-rise building instead of plots.
Disposing of the applications, District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, SAS Nagar, presided over by Madhu P Singh, on January 29, held, “GMADA has arbitrarily and illegally deducted the said amount of 2% and therefore, this act on its part amounts to deficiency in service and unfair trade practice.”
The forum also held, “Complainants were successful in draw of lots and had not submitted complete documents. Letter of intent was not issued to them and had made a request for refund of earnest money. The 2% deduction from the earnest money at the time of refund can be made by GMADA only under the situation when request for refund is made by the applicant before draw of the lot.”
Harmanbir Singh Gill from Amritsar, Rachpal Singh from Faridkot, Balpinder Singh and Jatinder Singh from Ludhiana and Ram Saran from Nawanshahar, had approached the forum accusing GMADA of deficiency in services and unfair trade practices.
GMADA had justified the deduction saying that the applicants were asked to deposit the documents failing which they were intimated that allotment would be cancelled and earnest money would be refunded after 2% deduction and all applicants were refunded money in September 2012.
What each applicant gets apart from compensation of Rs 20,000 GMADA will refund 2% of Rs 6.9 lakh (earnest money) illegally deducted alongwith 9% interest from September 2012 till realisation.
This would be paid to Harmanbir Singh Gill, who had applied for allotment of type 3 apartment, Rachpal Singh, who had applied under the sportspersons category, Balpinder Singh from Ludhiana had applied in the category of legal heirs of defence personnel killed on duty, Jatinder Singh had applied under the category of legal heirs of defence personnel killed on duty. They all had applied for three bedroom apartment carrying price tag of Rs 69 lakh and alongwith the application form earnest money of Rs 6.9 lakh was deposited.
GMADA will also pay 5.5% interest on earnest money from May 2012 till September 2012 when the amount was refunded to Ram Saran. He had applied for allotment of two-room apartment under the Scheduled Caste category. The price of the flat was Rs 55 lakh and alongwith the application form earnest money of Rs 5.5 lakh.
GMADA floated the scheme of Premium Purab Apartments offering 4,500 apartments of different sizes. The scheme had initially not generated the desired response which was indicated 6,500 applications received for the scheme and even before the draw a number of applicants had withdrawn from the scheme.
GMADA had started construction of the apartments with 1,620 apartments to be constructed in 15 storeyed high-rise building coming up in Sector 88, SAS Nagar.