Coming to the aid of about 600 allottees of Cooperative Housing Scheme at Sector 79, SAS Nagar, harassed by Punjab State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies Limited (Housefed), district consumer disputes redressal forum, SAS Nagar, stayed the notice directing the allottees to pay 2.5 times higher the amount of the flat for which they were initially told to pay Rs 12 lakh under the category-2.
The consumer forum presided over by Madhu P Singh on Friday stayed the operation of the demand-cum-possession letter dated July 15, 2014 by Housefed Punjab to over 600 allottees of the Cooperative Housing Scheme at Sector 79, SAS Nagar, vide which it had demanded about 2.5 times the original price within 60 days, instead of 120 installments for a period of 10 years, as per the scheme.
Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for the allottees, Balbir Singh Gurm, and others, contended that Housefed had floated a housing scheme in January, 2004, under which the complainants were allotted flats. The allotment letter gave the option to pay the price in easy installments and the possession should have been given within three years ie in 2007.
Chandgothia contended that the Housefed delayed the construction inordinately and the possession has been now offered after a delay of as many as 10 years. Even today the flats were not inhabitable as there was no electricity connection or other essential amenities. Due to the delay, the cost of the dwelling unit had gone up. The complainant cannot be penalised for the delay caused by the OPs. In fact, the complainant needs to be compensated for the delay. Even otherwise, the calculations related to escalation are erroneous and excessive.
Chandgothia further contended that the Housefed had changed the terms of the allotment and scheme by asking for the total price in one go within 60 days instead of the original condition of paying 40% of the cost in 120 equated installments spread over 10 years. The demand for the final price on the pretext of offering possession is “wrong and erroneous”.
The Housefed had threatened levy of penal interest and coercive action in case the demanded payment is not made by September 15, 2014, contended Chandgothia, while praying for staying the demands by the Housefed.
The forum issued dasti (urgent) notice to the Housefed to reply by September 22, 2014 and stayed the letter of demand.
The Punjab State Federation of Cooperative House Building Societies Ltd, popularly known as Housefed, was organised on November 17, 1970, to tackle the problem of housing in the state, by providing financial assistance to individuals for construction of houses in rural and urban areas.