13 yrs after plaint, builder penalised for giving small flat
Thirteen years after a flat buyer filed a complaint against a city-based developer, Maharashtra consumer commission has held the builder guilty for providing lesser space than promised in the sale agreement.mumbai Updated: Aug 02, 2013 09:27 IST
Thirteen years after a flat buyer filed a complaint against a city-based developer, the state consumer commission has held the builder guilty for providing lesser space than promised in the sale agreement.
The commission also directed the builder to pay Rs5.91 lakh as compensation to the consumer.
According to the order passed on Tuesday, the complainant Hansa Agarwal booked a flat of 850 square feet in the building ‘Silver Palace’ developed and constructed by M/s Rathore Builders and Developers for Rs9,77,500 in November 1995, and was promised possession in December the same year.
In 1996, Agarwal filed a police complaint against the builder for delaying possession of the flat, following which the builder agreed to give her alternate accommodation till the flat was ready.
Agarwal alleged that she did not get possession of the flat till November 1999.
After she got possession, she had the area of the flat measured by a professional engineer and found that the built-up area was only 704 square feet – 146 square feet less than the agreed area.
Agarwal sought a refund of Rs1,67,900 on the basis of the area she lost, but the builder refused, so Agrawal filed a consumer complaint in September 2000.
In her complaint, Agrawal alleged that not only did the builder give possession of the flat late, but also he did not provide municipal water connection and the sewage system was not proper.
She further stated that the builder had failed to obtain an Occupancy Certificate for the entire building because of which flat owners were charged 25% extra property assessment tax.
In his reply, the builder denied all allegations.
The commission considered the engineer’s report on the shortfall of 146 square feet, and held the builder guilty for providing lesser area.
However, it refused to grant relief for the other complaints as Agrawal failed to prove the case.
The commission asked the builder to pay Rs1,67,900 with interest of 18% from November 1999, which adds up to Rs 5.91 lakh.
The builder has also been asked to pay Agarwal Rs25,000 towards the cost of the complaint.