Observing that a buyer needs documents from a builder to avail loans for purchasing a flat, the Maharashtra Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a developer to refund the money he received for a flat and to compensate the buyer for failing to provide her with the documents she needed.
The commission ordered that the buyer, who filed the complaint, be paid Rs 40 lakh along with Rs 1 lakh compensation. According to the complainant, she had booked a flat in Borivali for over Rs 39 lakh. She claimed that she had initially paid Rs 10 lakh after which an allocation letter was issued to her by the developers. She claimed that despite requesting them, the developers did not provide her with copies of the necessary documents such as the sanctioned plan and approval of building plan.
The developers, however, claimed that the complainant had failed to pay the amount as per the stipulated time in the agreement including the interest amount for delay. They had claimed that the amount as per the registered agreement was Rs 41 lakh and that the complaint was ‘bogus’ and that the amount paid by her was forfeited after the termination of the contract due to the delay in payment.
“It is pertinent to note that the opponent has not made available the necessary documents and NOC for mortgage to the complainant following the loan case for purchase of the said flat. It cannot be expected from the general consumer that he should be ready with the entire consideration amount running into lakhs on his own for purchase of the flat,” the commission said, adding that to avail loan from financial institutions, a consumer needs from the builder or developer certain documents for sanctioning a loan.
“We do not accept the contention of the opponent (developer) that he is not entitled to or responsible for providing loan to the complainant. This can be reasonably expected from the builder developer/construction agency to enable the purchasers to arrange finances,” the commission said, observing that the failure of the builder in doing so could have delayed the payment by the buyer as she was required to raise funds from other sources.
The commission also observed that despite the complainant having made 95 per cent of the payment, the builder had sold the flat to the third party. The commission observed that the builder had shown ‘utter disregard’ to its proceedings as the complainant had already filed an injunction against third party transfer.
It held the builder responsible for the alleged delays and said that it was not proper for him to cancel and terminate the agreement and sell it to another party to get ‘additional financial gains’. The commission directed the builder to refund the amount of over Rs 40 lakh along with 18 per cent interest to the complainant along with Rs 1 lakh compensation for mental and physical harassment as well as an interest of 12 per cent annum to the amount paid by her. It also directed the builder to pay Rs 25,000 towards costs to the complainant.