The commission found that the builder had failed to give possession of a flat even two years after the scheduled date of delivery.
The national consumer disputes redressal commission (NCDRC) has directed realty firm Supertech to refund the entire amount of Rs 68 lakh to a couple, along with interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum, for failing to give them possession of a flat even two years after the scheduled date of delivery.
The builder has been directed to refund the amount within a period of six weeks.
Stating that the buyers cannot be made to wait for an indefinite period and are entitled for refund of the amount deposited by them with interest, NCDRC has ruled that “simple interest at the rate of 12 per cent per annum on the amount of refund would meet the ends of justice.”
The court has directed the developer to refund the entire amount of ₹68,03,954 collected from the homebuyers along with the 12 per cent interest from the date of respective payments till realisation, within a period of six weeks.
Ankur Saxena and Richa Saxena had booked a flat in Supertech Hues, a project located in Sector 68, Gurugram, on August 29, 2013, and paid a booking amount of Rs 7 lakh. The total sale consideration was of the house was about a crore rupees.
The parties entered into a Buyer Developer Agreement on March 27, 2014, but since there was a change in the layout plan, the developer made the buyers execute another agreement on June 6, 2014, under which the flat had to be delivered within 42 months, with a grace period of another six months in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
The possession was due on October 2017. However, even after receiving Rs 68.03 lakh, the unit was not delivered to the buyers on this date.
The slow progress in construction prompted the buyers to seek a refund, along with compensation, on February 17, 2018.
Claiming that that the possession would be handed over in June 2019, the developer refused to refund the amount. He also sent a legal notice dated March 15, 2018 asking the buyers to pay up Rs 7.10 lakh along with interest at the rate of 24 per cent per annum, and Rs 25,000 as legal fees.
This prompted the buyers to file a complaint with the NCDRC in which they alleged “deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the developer".
The Saxenas sought refund of the principal amount of Rs 68.03 lakh along with a penal interest of 24 per cent per annum from the date of the receipt of the payments made to the builder.
They also sought compensation of Rs 5 lakh for mental agony, harassment, discomfort and undue hardships, and Rs 1 lakh towards litigation cost.
“The courts have now crystallised their view against the errant builders and have decided to apply the doctrine of restitutio in integrum, which means to restore the affected party as if no wrong was ever committed, by granting refund at the rate of 12 percent per annum. Such court judgments will create a deterrent for the builders and suggest that no wrong, if committed, will go unpunished,” said Aditya Parolia, a Supreme Court advocate."The strict approach principles adopted by the courts also builds the faith of a common person, who is aggrieved, in the judicial system of the country. It should be noted that a decision on the case was taken by the court within 12 months from its institution," he said.Subscribe to Moneycontrol Pro and gain access to curated markets data, trading recommendations, equity analysis, investment ideas, insights from market gurus and much more. Get Moneycontrol PRO for 1 year at price of 3 months at 289. Use code FREEDOM.