The district consumer disputes redressal forum imposed a fine of Rs 3 lakh on builder Mount Kailash Land Base Private Ltd, and directed it to return Rs 52 lakh to five buyers.
The complainants claimed that the builder had neither started construction work at the site in Zirakpur, nor had licence to carry out work.
Naveen Kumar Rai, resident of Ghazipur, had booked a 1,100-sq feet flat worth Rs 23.5 lakh, and paid Rs 11 lakh. The agreement was signed in May 2012. He submitted before the forum that the flats were sold without ‘Change of Land Use’ and the builder did not have proper consents from the competent authority. The project was not approved by the Punjab government, and no license was issued to the builder, he held.
HK Tiwari, resident of Zirakpur, was another complainant in the case. He had also booked a 1,100-sq feet flat and paid Rs 11 lakh to the builder in February, 2012.
Ankit Goel, a resident of Sector 20 in Panchkula, also booked a similar flat and paid Rs 15 lakh to the builder in August 2012.
He told the forum that the agreement was silent on maintenance works agency, provision of electricity connections, security agencies and also did not have any date of completion of the flat.
Rakesh Kumar, a resident of Zirakpur, had booked a flat of similar dimensions and paid Rs 7.5 lakh in April 2012. He told the forum that the builder had promised to deliver the flat by December 31, 2012, but had not even started work thus far.
Similarly, Pratap Singh, a resident of SAS Nagar, also paid Rs 7.5 lakh in February 2012 for a flat. He told the court that he visited the builder’s office many times for refund of the entire amount, but to no avail.
The builder did not appear before the forum to defend the case. The forum headed by president Dharampal and members Anita Kapoor and Anil Sharma observed, “The non-appearance of the builder despite notices show that they have nothing to say in their defence or against the allegations made by the complainants. Therefore, the assertions made by the complainants go un-rebutted and uncontroverted. As such, the same are accepted as correct and deficiency in service on the part of the builder is proved.”
The forum awarded a compensation of Rs 60,000 to each complainant. It also ordered the builder to pay back a total of Rs 52 lakh, which they had paid, along with nine percent interest.