The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a real estate firm to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to three complainants in separate cases for failing to allot plots. The commission on Thursday also directed Altus Space Builders to refund the amount deposited by the complainants for purchasing the flats. The builder was also directed to pay Rs 33,000; Rs 22,000 and Rs 33,000 as costs of litigation to the three.
The complainants — Gurmukh Singh, a resident of Mohali; Pratibha Dhundia, a resident of Sector 43; and Navneet Pathak, a resident of Sector 23 — had booked plots in a society, Muirwoods Eco-City, in New Chandigarh, Mullanpur and Punjab. The commission directed the builder to give Rs 2 lakh each compensation to Gurmukh and Pathak and Rs 1 lakh to Dhundia. Sharing details of the complaint filed by Gurmurkh in a detailed order, it was mentioned that he had booked a plot measuring 350 square yards on December 21, 2010, in the said project.
The agreement to sell the plot was executed between the complainant and the builder and the price of the plot was fixed at Rs 9,700 per square yards. Gurmukh had paid Rs 7 lakh at the time of booking the plot, which was to be allotted to him by December 2013. Gurmukh had deposited Rs 33,86,700 by August 2015, but still the possession of the plot was not given to him. After five years from the date of execution of the agreement, Gurmukh was given the copy of the sale deed in April 2015 which contained new terms and conditions.
According to the agreement, the builder sought extension of three years for handing over the possession of the plot. On visiting the project site, Gurmukh realised that the land was still under agriculture cultivation and an area meant for cremation of dead bodies was also situated at the site. He then requested the builder to show necessary approvals and sanctions for the project, which were not provided. Gurmukh then sent a legal notice to the builder on November 7, 2016.
In its reply, the builder said the complainants did not fall within definition of consumer, as defined under Section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 and the complaint was not maintainable.