Mumbai: Hand over flats booked 10 yrs ago, forum orders builder

  • Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Nov 07, 2014 21:36 IST

More than 10 years after they booked flats at a project in Bhandup (West), two buyers will finally get possession of their homes from the developer, along with a compensation for the delay.

The additional consumer forum for the Mumbai suburban district on Monday directed Sharma Realty to either handover the specific flats booked by Thane resident Jaywant Thorave and Shahad resident Ram Niwas Rai, or flats of the same area in the locality, after receiving the remaining costs from them.

The builder was will also have to pay each complainants a compensation of Rs 2 lakh and litigation cost of Rs 10,000.

According to their complaints, Thorave and Rai had booked a flat each of 780 sq ft, in A and B wings of Sharma Residency, proposed to be constructed by Sharma Realty. They had paid Rs 51,000 each as booking amount. At the time, the total price of the flats was Rs 13.52 lakh, including stamp duty, registration charges.

They were assured they would be given possession of the flats within 18-24 months, and were asked to pay the balance amounts in accordance with the progress in construction. However, the complainants alleged the builder did not start work in time. When they enquired about their homes in April 2005, they were told construction would start soon.

Eventually, in July 2005, when the complainants issued notices to the builder, they were offered apartments in the F wing, at the rate of Rs 2,500 a sq ft, while they had booked the flats at Rs 1,500 a sq ft. The complainants rejected the offer and approached the consumer forum.

The builder denied the allegations, stating that Thorave and Rai had agreed to pay Rs 2,500 a sq ft, and accordingly the cost of each of the flat was Rs 16.50 lakh. The builder also offered to refund the booking amounts paid to him.

The forum, however, found reference of the Rs 1,500 a sq ft rate in the correspondence between the complainants and the builder. The builder was thus held guilty of deficiency in service.

Know Your Rights

As a consumer, you have the right to move a consumer court if you are unhappy with a product or a service and can file a complaint with the district forum, under whose jurisdiction the case falls:
* 42 district forums in the state
* 4 district forums in Mumbai
* 1 is for south Mumbai
* 1 has jurisdiction over central Mumbai
* 2 are meant for the western suburbs.

Filing a complaint

A written complaint can be filed before the district consumer forum for disputes up to Rs 20 lakh, the state commission for disputes up to Rs 1 crore and the national commission for disputes above Rs 1 crore

The consumer must attach all the original documentation while filing a complaint

The complaint could be over defects in goods and/or deficiency in service

However, no complaint can be filed for alleged deficiency in any service that is rendered free of charge or under a contract of personal service

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