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Developer asked to refund full amount to buyer and pay fine after plot not delivered on time

  • It seems like builders and property dealers are having a tough time understanding the new Real Estate Bill. In yet another order by the country's apex consumer dispute redressal commission has asked TDI Infrastructure to refund the entire amount paid by a plot buyer in Haryana, along with 18% annual interest for failing to hand over a 1,000 sq yard plot sold in 2006.

    The developer was also fined an additional 50,000 rupees for “cheating” the consumer, and was instructed by the Commission to pay the amount within 90 days.

    This has not been the first time that major players in the building industry have been fined for such actions. Earlier the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) had issued such notices and fines to major players in the infrastructure sector such as Parsvanath and Infratech. Such notices and fines has risen in number after the Real Estate Bill was passed in the Parliament.

    The order by a bench comprising of Justice J M Malik and commission member S M Kantikar last week turned down all the arguments put by the developer's counsel. The order said, "The opposition party (TDI Infrastructure) is enjoying the value of the plot for at least 10 years. The complainant has spent his hard earned money and is a senior citizen. The opposite party has succeeded to feather its own nest i.e. to make profit for itself often at the expense of others. The fabian policy adopted by it has benefited it a lot."

    The case was filed by one Gurdarshan Singh Kalra, who had bought a 1,000 sq yard plot in Kundli sub-city in Sonipat district in 2006 and had paid total Rs 1.02 crore. The complaint had alleged that the developer had promised to give possession of the plot in 12-16 months, which it could not meet. It should be kept in mind that the plot was sold in 2006, which means that the builder was supposed to provide Mr.Kalra with the possession of the building latest by 2008.

    Mr.Kalra also alleged that he was even asked to pay more than the amount quoted to him, when he had gone to buy the property. Even after paying the full amount, the builders did not provide him the possession of the property till this year. When he asked for a refund, they refused to oblige with him and he was harassed.

    To verify the ground reality, NCDRC had appointed a retired additional and district judge, who visited the site in K block of TDI City in January this year. The report submitted to the commission mentioned that there were electric poles on the road, but there was no electricity supply. It also found no infrastructure for water supply and treating sewage.

    "Not even a single plot in block 'K' had been built. The undersigned did not notice any construction activity going on in any of the plots of K block," the report said adding the residential block was "not immediately habitable." The report also mentioned how the area was "like a jungle where nobody will desire to stay".

     

    OUR TAKE

    After the Real Estate Bill was passed in the Parliament about a month ago, it was expected that such cases would rise in number. Big time players in the real estate industry have been known to dupe their customers and fail to live up to the deadlines quoted by them. The situation is a sad one. With housing policies and new advancement in the housing schemes for the general public, it should have been a pleasure buying a house in today's times. But it is hardly the case. Buying a house now means waiting for months and months for the possession of the plot and endless number of unanswered queries. We hope such cases really open the eyes of the builders and improve the situation. Faith needs to be restored in the hearts of the buyers if the real estate sector needs to progress on the right path.


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