In a relief to families facing harassment at the hands of the Central Government Employees’ Welfare Housing Organisation (CGEWHO), the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission dismissed 150 appeals filed by it. The housing society was held guilty for delaying the possession of flats to applicants. Besides, the flats were lacking basic amenities such as electricity connection.
The housing society had moved the state consumer commission challenging the SAS Nagar consumer forum order of February 2014 wherein it had directed the society to pay Rs 2.25 lakh as compensation and Rs 22,000 as litigation each to 150 residents for delaying effective possession of flats at Kendriya Vihar in SAS Nagar.
Around 150 persons, who had invested in the housing project floated by the society in 2006, and still awaiting “effective” possession of the flats. Upholding the consumer forum order, the commission directed the society to issue a fresh letter of offer of possession indicating the details of approvals obtained by the housing society from various authorities regarding the facilities in the project with the certificate that such facilities are in existence on the date of offer of fresh letter of possession.
The society had floated a scheme — Kendriya Vihar, Sector 125, SAS Nagar — for the allotment of residential flats in 2006. Though the society claimed that the construction of the project would be completed by December 2009, most of the flats are still incomplete. The complainants alleged that the society failed to provide a permanent electricity connection in the flats and even the parking lots were not ready. They also alleged that there was high-tension wires passing over the building, putting the lives of those residing there to risk.
Contesting the allegations, the society maintained that the project was handed over to the beneficiaries and it was left with no role except to ensure compliance to local laws by the beneficiaries. The state consumer commission held: “The district forum has rightly directed the housing society to issue a fresh letter of offer of possession giving details of approvals/sanctions from various authorities. The flats should have all amenities before the offer letter is issued and only then a fresh letter of possession demanding instalments from the allottees should be issued.”
“The project was floated in Sector 125 SAS Nagar adjacent to Sunny Enclave and the families are still awaiting for possession. The society would now have to pay about Rs 3.7 crore,” said advocate Pankaj Chandgothia counsel of the complainants.