After 21-year wait, Mumbai senior citizen to get possession of shop, Rs3 lakh compensation for delay
Anil Dighe, a chemical factory worker, had booked the shop for Rs3.43 lakh in 1996.mumbai Updated: Apr 25, 2017 15:32 IST
Twenty-one years after buying a shop in Navi Mumbai, a senior citizen is set to get its possession.
Anil Dighe, a chemical factory worker, had booked a 245 sqft shop in the proposed building ‘Cinema Cum Shopping Complex’ in Sector 11, Navi Mumbai on July 30, 1996 for Rs3.43 lakh. He had paid Rs2.05 lakh, and was to get immediate possession of the shop. However, the builder delayed the construction of the building, and did not give Dighe the possession of the shop.
Dighe approached the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission in 2010.
The commission has now not only asked builder to give the possession of the shops booked by the consumer after he pays the balance amount, but also asked to pay compensation of Rs3 lakh for the delay. The commission also told the consumer that he can claim the return of his payment for the shop as per its current market value, which is calculated as Rs 21.82 lakh.
The bench of Usha Thakare and PB Joshi of the commission heard Dighe’s complaint. In his complaint, Dighe demanded possession of the shop, and compensation for loss of rent income suffered by him for 13 years, which he calculated to be Rs52.40 lakhs.
The builder contested his claim, alleging that the complainant had not made the payment as per schedule, and hence, there was delay in construction. The builder further contended that possession was not given as the entire consideration was not paid.
The builder also alleged that ‘the said shop was booked by the complainant to earn his livelihood. Hence, the complainant is not a consumer.’ The commission ruled out the said argument, observing that “the complainant has mentioned in his complaint that he has invested nearly 25 years of his savings, which he earned by sheer hard work by working in various chemical factories. Presently, he has no other source of income, as his provident fund is exhausted and he doesn’t get pension, as his service was private.”
“Booking a shop or flat for getting a rent as means of earning livelihood after retirement cannot be said to be a commercial purpose,” the commission held.
The commission noted that after booking the shop in 1996, the progress of construction was very slow, and later there was no progress at all, and hence the complaint was compelled to file a complaint in 2010. The commission held the builder guilty of deficiency of services observing that, “we find that by not giving possession of the shop which was booked in the year 1996 , which compelled the complainant to knock the doors of this Commission in the year 2010, there is clear-cut deficiency on the part of the opponents.”
While deciding on the compensation to be paid to Dighe, the Commission noted that at the time when he filed the complaint in 2010, the market value of the shop had reached Rs40 lakhs. However, the court later relied on the valuation done in 2012, that came up to Rs36.36 lakhs.
Hence, while deciding the compensation to be paid to Dighe, the commission held that as per the calculation, Dighe had paid 60% of the shop value. If he wants possession of the shop, he has to pay the remaining 40% of the price as per the current value, which was calculated to be Rs14.54 lakhs. The commission also said that in case Dighe cannot claim the possession, the builder has to return 60% of the amount as per the current market value, which is calculated as Rs 21.82 lakhs. Apart from this, the Commission has asked the builder to pay Rs3 lakhs towards mental agony and Rs15000 towards the cost of complaint.