Builder told to pay for delaying handing over of flat

CHENNAI: A builder, real estate firm, that delayed giving possession of an apartment to its buyer has been directed by the State Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission to pay 3 lakh as compensation for delaying handing over of flat.

In December 2012, Vijaya Padmanaban , an employee of Chaitanya Builders and Leasing Pvt Ltd, made an advance payment and booked an apartment in the project being built by her employer . She received the confirmation in the same month, after which she carried out interior furnishing work in the
flat. Two years later, she resigned her job with Chaitanya Builders. The company sent her a note saying the flat was allotted to her “at less than (the actual) cost on an understanding of a long-term productive
participation in the growth of the company.”

 

The company also returned her cheques saying that her “attitude to the company’s assignments resulted in a loss of 2 crore in a project.” Vijaya filed a complaint with the commission seeking a compensation of 20 lakh for deficiency in service, harassment, mental agony, and 15,000 for loss of funds.

Chaitanya , in its reply , said the complaint was time-barred and fell outside the purview of the commission . It said Vijaya’s negligence resulted in huge losses to the company and claimed she was trying to unlawfully take possession of the flat . Further, Chaitanya filed a civil suit and obtained an injunction order too.

The commission's bench said: “It is well settled that all subjects relating to housing construction are within the purview of the Consumer Protection Act. As there is continuing cause of action in not handing over possession of the flat in complete shape , it cannot be barred by time .”

The bench said further evidence regarding the civil suit was not produced and the employment issue was irrelevant to the case.

The commission said: “The failure on the part of the company to hand over possession ofthe flat to Vijaya in time amounts to deficiency in service.” It directed Chaitanya to “hand over possession of the flat to Vijaya and pay an amount of 3 lakh for deficiency in service, harassment, loss and sufferings undergone by her, besides 5,000 as costs.” Vijaya has also agreed to pay the revised price quoted by the builder. She has been directed to submit the balance amount over and above the initial payments.

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“Ravinder Singh”

Source: The Times of India*

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