Builder held liable for not delivering possession

Holding construction firm guilty of "deficiency in service", Maharashtra Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum asked it to hand over possession of 2 flats to purchaser or refund money already paid.

Updated: May 12, 2013, 13:34 PM IST

Mumbai: Holding a construction firm guilty of "deficiency in service", Maharashtra Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has asked it to hand over possession of two flats to a purchaser or refund the money already paid with interest.

The forum, comprising presiding member S R Khanzode and member S B Sawarkar, passed the order on an appeal filed by Mathew Varghese against S S Construction last week.

It also asked the firm to pay Varghese Rs 50,000 as cost incurred for legal proceedings.

Varghese had agreed to buy two flats in the firm`s project in Nashik. Of the total Rs 9.69 lakh, he paid Rs 9.43 lakh, and the balance was to be paid while taking the possession.

But the company did not execute the written agreement and failed to deliver possession, his complaint said.

The company argued that it had demanded Rs 2 lakh as a part-payment in 2002, and since it was not paid by due date, it terminated the agreement by a letter dated February 10, 2004, asking Varghese to take back the money he had paid.

The complainant denied having received any letter, saying he was not aware that the agreement had been terminated.

The district forum held that Varghese should establish that he did not get any communication on termination. But the state forum disagreed, saying that "once the complainant denies having received any such communication, it is for the opponents to establish the said fact".

The company failed to provide any proof about posting of the letter of termination, it said, adding that "under the circumstances, the agreement must be held as subsisting".

If the company was not ready to hand over the possession, it should refund the amount paid with 24 per cent interest with effect from October 2008 (the date of filing of complaint), the state forum ruled.