Delaying giving possession of a flat to a consumer will at least cost twice the amount to a developer. The state consumer redressal forum in two cases has asked the builder to hand over the apartments that were agreed upon or provide similar flats or refund the cost along with 15% interest, which comes to double the amount the buyers had paid.
The order by Usha S Thakare, presiding judicial member, and P B Joshi, judicial member came on two identical complaints of Sneha and Nipunrao Kore, and Rajan Mangave against Monarch Brookefields LLP.
The Kores and Mangave had booked a flat each of 55.246 sq mtrs plus a terrace area of 4.185 sq mtr on the 11th floor of a building to be constructed in Sector-20, Kalamboli. The complainants had each paid Rs 35 lakh on January 17, 2013. They even paid Rs 10.85 lakh, including the cost for four-wheeler parking, one-time maintenance and floor rise charges.
According to the sale agreement with the developer, the flats were to be delivered in 36 months.
However, when the complainants did not get the possession, each sought the flat or an alternate apartment or Rs 84.69 lakh in refund which would cover the sale price and the interest. The complainants also sought Rs 10 lakh as compensation for mental agony and legal charges.
The forum found merits in the complaints' claims, particularly because they were not challenged by the developer. It said that since the buyers had taken loans for the flats, a 15% annual interest from January 2013 is justified. An additional Rs 10 lakh compensation would be exorbitant, said the forum as it slashed the claim for mental agony to Rs 1 lakh. It also ordered that Rs 25,000 be paid to each of the buyers.