In Focus

Consumer Forum raps builder, orders to pay ₹ 7 lakh compensation

The additional district consumer redressal forum has directed real estate developer and three of his associates to pay ₹ 7 lakh compensation to a consumer with 10 per cent interest within 45 days of the issuance of the order. The forum further stated that in case of noncompliance, the developer will have to pay the compensation at 12 per cent interest. It has also directed to pay an additional ₹ 50,000 as compensation along with ₹ 5,000 as expenses towards filing the complaint.

Representational Image

Reportedly, Yerwada resident Prafulla Chandrakant Salunke filed a complaint with the consumer court against Messrs SS Developers and Builders, Pradeep Bhagwandas Shah, Sunit Nitin Mehta and GRP associates and Gravity International (Proprietor Prabhakar Menon) on 25 February 2019, seeking either custody of the flat he had booked in their project or compensation from the proprietors of the project.

According to the consumer court order, Messrs SS Developers and Builders is a real estate development company while the others are partners in the said project.

The complainant had booked a flat in Atharva Plaza project of the company in Kondhwe Dhawade in Survey No 423 and booked flat number 401 and 402 in the project at a total consideration of ₹ 22.65 lakh. He paid a booking amount of ₹ 1 lakh on 9 April 2011. He paid another ₹ 1 lakh through a cheque dated 6 November 2011, and on various occasions paid money wherein the total consideration was ₹ 7.20 lakh.

He requested the developers to register the said agreement and was assured by them that it would be done in the next few days. Despite repeated requests, the builders failed to execute the property registration and also did not complete the project. Salunke sent a legal notice to the developers dated 30  July 2018, but no action was taken by them. The complainant then moved the consumer forum seeking either refund of the advance paid or compensation in lieu of the payments made to the builder, the order stated.

The order further said 'Despite issuing notice, the developers failed to present themselves before the forum and an ex-parte order was passed in the case. From the complaint, it can be deduced that the complainant has paid ₹ 7 lakh to the builders. The papers prove that the promise behind seeking money from the complainant was not fulfilled.'

The forum maintained that it was of the view that the complainant deserves compensation on the ground of mental harassment and deficiency of the service and passed the order.