Builders in Chd get 2-yr jail for not complying with consumer forum’s order

  • Nikhil Sharma, Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
  • Updated: Jan 07, 2016 11:43 IST

A bench of the district consumer disputes redressal forum has awarded two-year imprisonment to directors of realty firms - Chandigarh Overseas Private Limited, SAS Nagar, and Greenfield Sites Management Private Limited, Chandigarh - for noncompliance of its orders. The forum has also imposed a fine of `10,000 each on them.

Chandigarh Overseas private Limited is now known as Jade Business Park (J 90), SAS Nagar.

On June 12, 2014, the forum had directed Sumesh Chawla, managing director, Chandigarh Overseas, and Gursharan Batra, Greenfield Sites MD, to jointly pay `7.50 lakh along with `50,000 as compensation for failing to deliver the possession in a stipulated time, thus causing mental agony and harassment to Mahesh Nair of Gurgaon.

Nair had averred the project was to be completed by March 2009, but was still nowhere near completion. Moreover, he was neither given the possession nor he got the money back as per the deal.

In their reply, the directors stated they were ex-parte in the order passed by the forum. They further submitted that they could not enter Punjab due to stay obtained by Lonic Realty Limited on the project under Section 9 of the Arbitration and Conciliation Act. Also, the address provided by the complainant for serving the notice was wrong, they submitted, adding that they were not operating from the mentioned premises at the time of the complaint.

After failing to comply with the order, the forum on March 30, 2015, had issued show-cause notices to the directors as to why they should not be punished.

Taking a strict note, the forum on December 29, 2015, observed there was an intentional breach on the part of the respondents, and they were liable to be punished for non-compliance of the order. “The respondents have failed to put forward any sufficient cause for not following the order issued on June 12, 2014. Therefore, they are convicted and sentenced to two-year imprisonment. In the default of payment of the fine, they will also undergo imprisonment for a further period of six months each,” read the order.

Advocate Ravinder Pal Singh, commenting on the conviction, stated, “The directors of Chandigarh Overseas Private Limited were also convicted for three years by the forum in three different cases last year, but police failed to arrest them.”

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