The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has slapped a heavy penalty on a builder for failing to provide a flat agreed to be sold to a Chembur resident. In spite of receiving a substantial booking amount, the builder sold the flat to somebody else.
The Consumer Commission has directed the builder, Aditya Enterprises, to pay Ashok Rastogi an amount of Rs 2 lakh towards compensation and Rs 50,000 towards cost of the litigation. Besides, the builder has been directed to hand over the flat booked by Rastogi in July 2005 to him, or any other flat at the same rate in the same locality having the same area.
According to his complaint, in February 2005, Rastogi had registered himself on the website of an international bank since he required a flat for his family. He received a call from the bank, and later booked a 3BHK flat in Ganga Tower at Tilak Nagar.
He had booked the 1,305 square feet flat at Rs 2,300 per square feet. He paid Rs 5 lakh towards the booking amount and a further amount of Rs 12 lakh as demanded by the builder.
However, subsequently he came to know that the builder had sold the flat to somebody else, after which he went to court and also filed a criminal complaint against Aditya Enterprises.
Subsequently, after some of the partners of the firm were arrested, the builder offered alternate premises to him at the same rate in the same locality. In November 2009, the builder issued a conditional allotment letter to Rastogi.
The builder’s lawyer even prepared an Agreement for Sale but the builder declined to execute it although the complainant had paid necessary stamp duty required for registration of the document.
The move compelled Rastogi to approach the Consumer Commission. Acting on his plea, the Commission had issued a notice to the firm, which chose not to respond to the consumer complaint. In the ex-parte proceedings, the commission bench of presiding member PN Kashalkar and member Dhanraj Khamatkar held the builder guilty of deficiency in service and also for adopting unfair trade practice.