It is a big relief to 132 home buyers in Pune.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) in New Delhi has directed builders to give customers the benefits of cost escalation rather than merely refunding booking amount without interest or compensation, considering the flats for which the buyers paid money and waited for years were not delivered.
The verdict implies that the builders can’t avoid giving homebuyers the benefits of cost escalation, in light of the fact that the builders failed to deliver the projects which the buyers had booked and waited for years to take possession.
The commission observed that the builders can’t forsake the responsibility by just refunding the booking amount, and that too without any compensation or interest. The court held builder accountable for leaving the buyers in the lurch.
132 residents in Pune had booked flats in the proposed KDS Aangan & KDS Dham scheme at Charholi Budruk. They paid booking amount of Rs 1.34 crore to KDS Infra Buildcons, a Vishrantwadi based partnership firm. Later, it revealed that the firm sold out the land for the proposed housing scheme to a third party, thus sealing the fate of the buyers. Holding the firm responsible, the commission asked it to pay back the booking amount inclusive of 18% interest per annum and pay the buyers the compensation amount of Rs 4 lakh.
The compliant of the buyers was filed by Akhil Bharatiya Grahak Panchayat (ABGP), wherein NCDRC bench of Justice J M Malik and Justice S M Kanitkar delivered the verdict in reference to September 19, 2012 ruling delivered by the Supreme Court, that the complainant deserves higher compensation for not availing flat and cost escalation benefit, let alone depositing money in the hope of getting the flat.
The commission further observed that the buyers deserve compensation of Rs 4 lakh, considering they travelled all the way from Pune to file the compliant before the commission in Delhi, and that they are fighting the legal case for nearly four years.
The refundable booking amount with 18% interest per annum must be returned to buyers from the date the flats were booked till realization. That said, Rs 4 lakh compensatory amount to be paid within 90 days, and the same will attract 18% interest per annum for nonpayment.
Source: ET realty. February 22, 2016