The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission recently ruled in favour of Suman Thekedar of Somwar Peth,who argued her case herself against builder Sadashiv Kirad who had handed over a 565 sqft flat against the promised area of 714 sqft.
After winning her case in the Pune district consumer forum and the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission in 2003 and 2007 respectively,builder Kirad had filed an appeal in the National Commission in 2008 against the order. The National Commission dismissed the appeal and also ordered the builder to pay Rs 1.50 lakh for the deficit in built-up area.
According to her complaint,Thekedar and Kirad had entered into an agreement on June 3,1996 for purchasing a flat with built-up area of 714 sqft in Somwar Peth. The agreement clearly defined the built-up area was the outer area of the flat including the staircase,balconies,rooms,passages,toilets,kitchen,tiles,door jams etc. along with proportionate share in common parking. However,at the time of possession on April 12,1998,it was found that the built-up area was only 573.83 sq ft.
A report filed by architect Shrikant Pethe on behalf of the builder during the time of possession stated that the built-up area was 714 sqft,another architect Gopal Chandorkar who had taken measurements of the flat stated that the built-up area was 565 sqft, Thekedar said in her complaint in the Pune district consumer court.
The district forum had ordered the builder to complete the construction to 714 sq ft as promised within eight months of the judgment else pay Rs 100 per month to her. While Kirad accepted this order,Thekedar appealed against it in the Maharashtra State Consumer Commission with the same complaint of deficit in the built-up area of the flat.
Umesh Bhosale,a government registered chartered engineer and an architect was appointed by the state commission as court commissioner to ascertain the facts. Bhosale submitted his report stating that the flat was of 573.83 sq ft,and not the promised 714 sq ft. Kirad,through his advocate Amol Chitale contended that the court commissioner had failed to consider 52.72 sqft of air case area,24.46 sqft of parking area and 67.47 sqft of elevation area totaling to 144.65 sqft. However,after hearing both sides,the state commission ordered Kirad to refund Rs 1,05,127.50 at nine per cent interest per annum from April 13,1998 till date of realisation for deficit in the built-up area. He was also asked to pay Rs 25,000 for mental agony and harassment and Rs 5,000 towards cost of appeal.
The two-member bench of justices Ashok Bhan,President,National Commission and Vineeta Rai,member,National Commission,while dismissing Kirads appeal observed that,The findings recorded by the state commission are facts based on evidence. We do not find any illegality,infirmity or material irregularity in the order passed by the state commission.