SC tells Jaypee to pay 10 homebuyers Rs 5 lakh each over project delay in Noida
The Supreme Court asked Jaypee Associates on Wednesday to pay Rs 5 lakh each to 10 homebuyers who did not get their flats on time, expressing concern “about the tears of the homebuyers who cannot be taken for a ride by builders”.
The ruling adds to the woes of the real estate developer which is in the middle of insolvency proceedings. Jaypee is one of several prominent builders that have delayed the delivery of flats in the National Capital Region, locking lakhs of money paid by mostly middle-class homebuyers.
The bench headed by chief justice Dipak Misra ordered the penalty as interim relief to 10 homebuyers who got their flats at the Kalypso Court, Noida project five years later than promised.
The order came during a hearing on an appeal filed by Jaypee against a 2016 National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) order that slapped a 12% per annum penalty for the delay in delivery.
The challenge was filed in July, when the SC stayed the penalty but asked the builder to deposit Rs 4 crore with the court registry.
It did not allow Jaypee to use that deposit for the interim payout in its Wednesday’s ruling.
The Supreme Court also refused to allow owners to sell their apartments.
“We cannot give this kind of an order. If someone has a genuine reason to sell, then file an application. We are here to take care of genuine buyers and not investors,” the bench told advocate Sai Krishna, who represented the 10 homebuyers under the collective Developers Township Property Owners Welfare Society.
The Supreme Court had prohibited the sale of the flats to safeguard the interest of Jaypee, in case it win the appeal against the NCDRC ruling.
Krishna later told HT that Jaypee gave possession last year after the NCDRC’s compensation ruling and an ultimatum to hand over possession by July 21 or pay a penalty of Rs 5,000 per day.
Jaypee has contested the NCDRC order on the grounds that the agreement between the buyers and company entails a penalty of Rs 10 per square foot, which the commission overlooked.
The commission also told the developer to provide adequate parking space without charging extra and refund excess payments, if any, collected from customers for parking slots with an interest of 12% per annum.
The commission held that builders cannot charge buyers on increase in area of an apartment after construction unless they have prior consent.
Jaypee Kalypso Court project was launched in 2007 and was to have 16 towers. It was to be completed by 2011. Several towers are yet to be completed.