Consumer forum officials and consumer rights activists said that Maradu flat residents still have the option to approach the forum if they feel that the builders violated their rights as consumers.
They said that residents can file a complaint stating that the builder is responsible for the deficiency in the promised service and have engaged in unfair trade practices against the law if they can prove that they were unaware of the legal hiccups at the time of flat purchase and that the builders did not disclose details of the case.
“In this case, flat owners are consumers who paid a huge amount to builders in return for the flats they sold. Hence, consumer protection laws are applicable. Consumers can take advantage of the provision under Section 12 (1) (b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which allows a voluntary consumer association (VCA) to file a case on behalf of one or more consumers against the builder. If they could prove their claims, compensation can be availed from the builders. Though many owners claimed that they were unaware of the CRZ violation case in Supreme Court, none of them have approached us,” said consumer forum President Cherian K Kuriakose.
Meanwhile, advocate AD Benny, an activist, said that such a case will not stand in consumer forum if residents were willing to take a risk, by purchasing the flat, after knowing that the matter was sub judice.
“Consumers are bound to reasonably examine products or services before purchase. Builders can easily challenge the claim of flat owners that they were oblivious to the legal issues,” he said.
INFO – et realty