For refunding earnest money without paying interest, consumer disputes redressal forum, SAS Nagar, directed Greater Mohali Area Development Authority (GMADA) to pay `10,000 as compensation to a Sector-68 resident for deficiency in services.
Disposing of the complaint filed by Amrik Singh, a resident of PSEB Residence Complex, Sector 68, SAS Nagar, consumer forum presided over by Madhu P Singh, also directed GMADA to pay 5.5% interest on the earnest money of `3.62 lakh from September 16, 2012, till October 22, 2012 (date of refund of earnest money).
Amrik claimed that he had applied for the Purab Premium Apartment scheme floated by GMADA on January 11, 2012, by taking loan from a bank. In July, 2012, his name was in the waiting list, but due to financial problems, he requested GAMADA for cancellation of booking and sought refund of the amount within one week. He alleged that despite a number of visits, he got the refund only in November, 2012. Alleging that retaining his money for more than three months amounted to deficiency in service on part of GMADA, he moved the consumer forum.
GMADA, denying any deficiency, claimed that while making application for allotment, the complainant had consented to retain his application and earnest money for six months after the draw, in case his name was figured in the waiting list.
Dismissing the arguments of GMADA, the consumer forum held, "As per the conditions of the scheme, an interest of 5.5% per annum shall be paid for the period for which earnest money was retained by GMADA beyond 90 days after the last date for application, including to those who opt to be retained in the waiting list. Thus, non-payment of interest on the earnest money amounts to deficiency in service on part of GMADA."