The state Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission of Chandigarh has directed the Ansal Properties and Infrastructure Limited to refund Rs 23,17,500, along with an interest of 12 per cent per annum beginning from 2014, to two Ropar residents for the failure in handing over a plot to them in their project at Mohali.
The commission has also ordered the real estate developer to pay a compensation of Rs 75,000 as well as Rs 22,000 as litigation charges. “The date of offer of possession of the plot already stood expired, as far as back in June 2018. Now it is 2020. Still the complainants are empty handed. They cannot be made to wait for an indefinite period, at the whims and fancies of opposite parties,” reads the judgement passed by the commission.
Ropar residents Baljinder Kaur and Manveer Singh had approached the commission last year with a complaint seeking refund of the amount paid as well as compensation and litigation charges. They had purchased a plot measuring 112.50 square yards in the project Golf Links-I Sector 114, Mohali and paid Rs 23,17,500 against total sale consideration of Rs 25,87,500. The complainants had taken a loan from the Housing Development Finance Corporation Limited. As per the agreement dated December 2014, the possession of the plot was to be delivered within 42 months – on or before June 30, 2018.
Ansal Properties in their reply had stated that the development of the project is nearing completion and possession will be offered soon. It had also claimed that the complainants have already received an amount of Rs 3,40,000 from them as delay compensation.
The commission in the ruling said that “no cogent and convincing” evidence has been placed on record to convince it regarding the delay in delivering possession to the complainants, adding the counsel representing the Ansal Properties has failed to give any positive date regarding possession of the plot.
“It can be said that there is a material violation on the part of opposite parties, in not offering and delivering possession of the plot, in question, to the complainants, by the promised date or even as on today, thereby committing material violation on their part, apart from deficiency in providing service and guilty of adoption of unfair trade practice,” reads the judgement.
The commission also said the Ansal Properties cannot evade their liability merely by saying that since the words “shall endeavour” was mentioned in the agreement, the time should not be be considered as essence of contract.
Observing the act on non-mentioning the exact date in the allotment letter or agreement is violation of the law, it noted that, as per a National Commission ruling, “non-mentioning of exact date of delivery of possession of the plot(s) in the Buyer’s Agreement/allotment letter, is an unfair trade practice on the part of the Builder. The builder is bound to mention the exact/specific date of delivery of possession of the plots/unit(s) to the allottees/purchasers thereof”.
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