The district consumer court has ordered Kothrud-based Behede Brothers Promoters & Builders to refund Rs 90,000 with 18% per annum interest since November 16, 2016, besides Rs 1 lakh compensation, to a Gadital resident for failing to deliver possession of a 641sqft flat he had booked 20 years ago in a housing project at Satavwadi in Hadapsar.
The interest component on the refund amount since November 16, 2016, works out to Rs 47,250 and will continue to grow till actual realization of the payment.
The builder had failed to complete the proposed project – Gurudutta Sahakari Gruharachana Sanstha Maryadit – and did not respond to complainant Arun Rajaram Khadtare’s legal notice issued on November 16, 2016. This prompted Khadtare to file a consumer complaint, alleging deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the developer.
In an ex parte judgment on October 3, the bench of consumer court president Anil Khadse and members Kshitija Kulkarni and Sangita Deshmukh concluded, “The opposite party (builder) failed to complete the construction and deliver the possession as agreed. That itself is tantamount to deficiency in service and, thus, complainant has succeeded in establishing his case of deficiency in service and unfair trade practice on the part of the opposite party.”
“In spite of receipt of part-payment in sum of Rs 90,000 from the complainant and, in view of the terms of agreement, it was incumbent upon the opposite party to complete the construction and deliver possession of the flat to the complainant on August 23, 2001,” the bench observed.
Initially, a builder’s representative had appeared with his lawyer in response to the court’s notice, but later on none appeared for the builder. This prompted the court to pass an order May 3 last year to proceed against the builder without the latter’s written version. Khadtare had furnished, among other things, a copy of the registered agreement executed between the parties, payment receipts, copy of legal notice served to the builder and a postal acknowledgement of its receipt in support of his complaint.
“There may be a case that after initial payment, the complainant was not regular in payment so far as remaining instalments as per progress of construction is concerned. But as the opposite party did not contest the matter by filing a written version, we have no alternative, but to accept the documentary evidence produced by the complainant and the averments of deficiency in service,” the bench added. “Besides, the complainant’s case finds support from notice through advocate which the opposite party did not reply,” the bench noted.