Holding the builder guilty of deficiency in service, the Maharashtra state consumer commission has directed Suraj Developers to hand over a 1,000-sqft flat in Sewri booked by a Mira Road resident 20 years ago, or give her a similar flat in the same locality, or pay a sum of Rs 71.85 lakh.
According to her complaint, Yasmin Vanoo had booked the flat, which was to cost Rs 26 lakh, in March 1995 and had paid Rs 13 lakh to the developer. When the developer failed to hand over the apartment to her, she approached the commission in 2011.
The developer, however, denied the complainant’s claims that she had booked the flat and had paid 50% of the cost. He also said that going by the woman’s complaint, she should have filed the case in June 1997.
The consumer commission did not find any substance in the denial of booking and receipt of the sum of Rs13 lakh.
“It is an admitted position that the agreement was not registered by the opponents [developer],” the commission observed, adding, “It is also an admitted position that possession of the flat was not given by the opponents. Thus, there is clear deficiency in service on part of the opponents.”
It noted the complainant had showed willingness to pay the balance consideration and hence was entitled for possession of the flat.
Noting that the developer had not completed the project, the consumer commission pegged the ready reckoner price of the flat booked by Vanoo at Rs 1.43 crore.
However, considering that the complainant had paid only half of the agreed amount, it held that she was entitled to half of the cost of the flat – Rs 71.85 lakh.
The commission has directed the developer to hand over either the flat booked by Vanoo or other flat of the same size in the same locality – Thakarji Jivajraj Road -- within six months, or pay her Rs 71.85 lakh in three months, failing which he will have to pay interest at the rate of 12% an annum from 2011.
The commission has also directed Suraj Developers to pay Rs1 lakh towards compensation and Rs 10,000 towards litigation cost.