Give flat to buyer or cough up market value: Panel orders builder
Complainant will get Rs.60 Lakh for the apartmenthe bought in 2008 for Rs.19 Lakh, in addition to Rs.330,000 as compensation. In a landmark judgment, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission ordered a building firmto either hand over a finished flatto a complainant within three months, or pay him the current market value of the flat.
The decision, taken on Friday, ended a five-year-long battle between Padma Construction and general physician Anant Ieetkar.
The current market value of the 1,200 sq ft Kalyan apartment is Rs.60 Lakh. In addition to that, Ieetkar will also get Rs. Three Lakh as compensation for mental harassmentand Rs.30,000 for legal charges. He had purchased the flat for Rs.18.9 Lakh in 2008.
Welcoming the decision, Ieetkar said he would be happy to accept Rs.60 Lakh as it was very unlikely that he would ever get possession of the flat. “The construction is stalled because of some disagreement between builders for the last five years. Nothing will change in three months”.
“The agreement was signed six months after I made the full payment. I waited till 2011 to get possession of the flat, but when nothing happened, I filed a complaint with the commission,” Ieetkar told Mirror.
Padma Construction owner, Hrishikesh Rajwade did not appear in court to defend himself, and the order was passed ex-parte. Ieetkar’slawyer Uday Wavikar said compensating consumers at the current market value will increase consumers’ trust in system.
“In earlier judgments, consumers were merely granted a certain amount of interest on the principle amount paid.
“In reality, no amount of interest is enough, considering the rising real estate rates. But with compensation like this, the consumer can at least consider buying a house in the same area,” Wavikar told Mirror.