Unitech told to refund money after not giving flat possession
The country's apex consumer court is turning out to be a saviour for distressed homebuyers left in the lurch by powerful builders. It has come down heavily on real estate companies that are not handing over flats to buyers within the stipulated time. Often, these firms are not even willing to refund the money with interest in case of default.
Ordering Unitech to payback Rs 42.6 lakh, 41.8 lakh, 43.4 lakh, 49.4 lakh and 42.9 lakh with 10 per cent interest, respectively, to four buyers - Vivek Shrivastava, Abhishek Roy, Amit Kumar and Rakesh Kumar - not given possession of their dream home in Greater Noida even almost 10 years after the promised date of October 15, 2008, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) said if a builder feels it is unable to offer possession of a flat within the stipulated time, the buyer cannot be made to wait indefinitely and is entitled to refund with interest.
Once a date of allotment has been specified in the allotment letter, it is mandatory for the builder to abide by it, the court ruled.
"The affidavits of the complainants coupled with the documents filed by them prove the allotment made to them, the payment made by them as well as the commitment of the builder to deliver possession of the apartments to them by 15.11.2008. The possession having not been even offered, they are entitled to seek a refund of the amount paid by them along with appropriate compensation," Justice V K Jain ruled in a recent judgment.
The stern ruling from the National Consumer Court comes at a time when homebuyers have already moved Supreme Court (SC) against builders like Jaypee, Amrapali, Supertech and Unitech for not handing over flats within the stated deadline. Slamming the builders, SC has ordered refund in many cases.
The complainants had booked a residential apartment in a project 'Unitech Horizon' in Greater Noida.
The court said it could deal with the case as the aggregate amount claimed in each of the complaints exceeds Rs 1,00,00,000 inclusive of interest.