A housing firm has been directed to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for failing to deliver possession of a flat by the due date to two Khara-based residents.
The complainants, Sanjeev Kumar and Ravinder Kumar, had applied for a flat in an upcoming housing project by Sant Homes Balongi. The company had initially assured the project was approved by the competent authorities but later, several discrepancies were found and it came to the fore that the necessary permission was not taken to initiate the project.
The complainant stated that on January 15, 2013, they bought the flat for Rs 17 lakh and paid Rs 10 lakh as the earnest money on the same day. The balance sale consideration was to be paid by October 1, 2014, and on receipt of the total money, possession was to be delivered and sale deed was to be executed.
The complainant alleged that after payment of the earnest money, they visited the site several times and approached the company for an update on the construction status. However, the respondents "falsely assured that it would start soon".
Thereafter, Sanjeev Kumar asked the company to either start construction or refund the earnest money along with interest of 18% per annum.
The respondents issued Rs 5-lakh cheque dated November 9, 2014, to be drawn at IndusInd Bank, Panchkula, which, when presented to the bank, bounced bank due to insufficient funds.
When the firm failed to refund the amount, a legal notice was issued.
Initially, the company appeared through its counsel, who also didn't attend further hearings. After the complainants produced the evidence, the terms of possible settlements were framed, which were sent to the respondents but to no avail.
Finally, the permanent lok adalat comprising Jagroop Singh Mahal, chairman, HS Walia, and Zora Singh, member, held: "The conduct of the respondents in not raising construction and not delivering possession by due date, and issuing a cheque for a lesser amount that was dishonored shows the complainants have been mentally and physically harassed.
Therefore the respondents are directed to refund the total amount of Rs 10 lakh along with 12 % interest since the date of receipt till the payment is made. The respondents have also been directed to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for causing harassment and Rs 15,000 as cost of litigation. The entire amount is to be paid within 30 days from the date of receipt of copy of the order."