Builder asked to pay Rs 2cr for failure to hand over homes

Written By Unknown on Minggu, 17 Maret 2013 | 22.23

MUMBAI: In one of the highest payouts in a consumer complaint in recent months, the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has ordered a builder to pay a total of Rs 1.97 crore in compensation to 82 complaints, after they never received possession of residential premises booked in Thane in 1997.

The commission observed, "Having received part-consideration from each of the complainants and failure on their part to complete the construction work and hand over possession of the respective tenements, the opponents are under statutory obligation to refund the amounts received, together with reasonable interest."

Paranjape Construction Company will also have to return the sum paid by the complainants, which comes to an average of Rs 1 lakh each. The commission directed the builder to refund the sum received from each together with 15% interest from June 1997.

In all 82 complaints, the victims sought refund of the amount paid with compensation. The builder had come up with a project called 'Paranjape Nagar', comprising multi-storied buildings, row-houses and bungalows. Each complainant paid amounts ranging from Rs 50,000 to Rs 3 lakh, said advocate S D Paithane who argued on behalf of the complainants.

According to the complainants, the construction could not take off for want of requisite approvals either from local bodies or the government and due to a row between the builder and some villagers. They alleged that despite repeated requests and notices, the builder neither handed over the possession of the respective tenements nor refunded the amounts received from each of them. They filed the complaints in 2009.

During the pendency of the complaint, some complainants died and their legal heirs took their places. Despite sending several notices, the builder did not make a representation in the forum. The commission then passed the order ex parte.

The commission said that since the builder did not counter the allegations, it held that there was deficiency in service on his part.

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