Mumbai builder gets 3-year jail for failing to hand over flat to buyer

The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has sentenced a city-based builder to three years imprisonment for failing to comply with an earlier order directing him to hand over possession of a flat to the buyer.

Mumbai: The Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has sentenced a city-based builder to three years imprisonment for failing to comply with an earlier order directing him to hand over possession of a flat to the buyer.

As per the commission's bench, presided by its president, retired judge AP Bhangale, and member SK Kakade, SD Constructions' owner Shekhar Dadarkar deliberately disobeyed its 2016 order by which his firm was directed to deliver possession of the flat to buyer Arun Kejriwal within a period of three months.

The panel noted that while the complainant (Kejriwal) paid the balance amount, the builder (Dadarkar) failed to abide by the final order.

The commission, in its order passed on April 18, said, "Dadarkar shall be taken into custody for imprisonment...if the accused complies with the final order of this panel passed on September 20, 2016, he shall be released from jail."

In its order, the panel noted that Dadarkar, with a view to cheat the complainant, sold the said flat to another person.

"Thus, there is deliberate disobedience to the final order passed by this panel on September 20, 2016. Only adjournments have been sought on the ground that the opponent (Dadarkar) will try to settle the matter with the complainant, but nothing has been done either to offer alternative flat in the vicinity or to get the flat vacated," the panel noted.

"...we are satisfied that the opponent has committed deliberate disobedience or he is guilty of willful omission on his part to comply with our order," the commission said.

It found Dadarkar guilty of the offence punishable under the Consumer Protection Act and sentenced him to simple imprisonment of three years and also imposed a fine of Rs 10,000 on him.

According to the complainant, he had booked a 1,165 sq ft flat in SD Constructions' project in suburban Kandivali in 2005.

When he did not get possession of the flat till 2007, he approached the consumer panel.