The State Consumers' Dispute Redressal Commission in its order has directed the project developers to provide flats for home buyers who had paid the entire amount as down payment, besides Rs 20 lakh as interest for its delayed possession.
The order was passed by D R Shirasao, presiding judicial member and A K Zade, panel member of SCDRC, on a complaint made by Rakesh Ranchoddas Rathi against Sameer Saeed Ahmed Khan and others.
In 2007, the Rathis had booked a flat in the project "Engracia" situated at Haveli, Pune, admeasuring over 2,000 sq ft worth Rs 35.10 lakh. The Rathis wanted their flats to be situated at an upcoming ISKCON Temple in the same vicinity at Pune's Katraj-Kondhwa Road which was proposed to be constructed by ISKCON authorities. When the Rathis made the booking and cleared the payment, the person who was in charge then, had accepted full payment of the flats, who in return handed them a receipt for the same. However, mid-way through the ownership of the project changed and the assets and liabilities including handing over the flats to the Rathis were moved to the new party.
However, no agreement was made till five years and when the new party took over, they approached the Rathis demanding extra payment, but with a reduced area to that of over 1,700 sq ft.
As the agreement was registered the Rathis were promised possession by end of 2012. However, when the Rathis did not get possession of their flats as promised, they sought a refund.
The new party suggested a deed of cancellation, but the terms were not agreeable to the Rathis, who then approached the commission seeking redressal.
In its order, the commission observed that "As the full payment was made and received even before the date of the said agreement, dated March 14, 2012 by the Rathis, as per above-mentioned second schedule to the said agreement, we hold the complainants entitled for possession of the flats and as the new party failed in allotting possession to the complainants, we hold them guilty of deficiency in service."
It went on to add that the party should provide them a house of 1,700 sq ft which includes balcony and a terrace of certain area. It also directed to pay interest at 9 per cent per annum on Rs 38 lakh from December 31, 2012, which was the assured date of possession of the flats, till realisation of the amount that came to Rs 20 lakh. The commission also directed to pay Rs 1 lakh as compensation for causing mental harassment.