The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) asks Unitech Developers to pay Rs.2.06 crore to a homebuyer for delay in the delivery of possession of the flat in the assured time-period.
The complainant, Amit Tyagi, contended that despite paying Rs.2.06 crore for a penthouse in Unitech project, the builder failed to deliver the possession of the flat by December 2012, the agreed date.
Alleging defects in services, the complainant approached the consumer forum seeking a refund of the entire amount, along with damage costs that were incurred.
In its defense, the company argued that the project was stalled due to unforeseen circumstances.
It said that the project hit a roadblock because of an “agitation by farmers who were seeking an increase in compensation and allotment of developed plots in lieu of their land acquired by the authorities”.
It even argued that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had issued a directive in 2013 “stopping construction activity in and around 10km of the Okhla Bird Sanctuary”.
Additionally, the company cited restrictions put by the green panel on the use of groundwater for construction work in Noida and Greater Noida.
Dismissing the developer’s argument of agitation by farmers, the consumer forum said, “No cogent evidence has been led in this regard (farmers’ protest). Therefore, said plea is liable to be rejected.”
Further, the NCDRC observed that the NGT directive was passed in September 2013 and ideally the flat possession should have been delivered by May 2013.
“Since there is no explanation on the part of the opposite party as to why possession of apartment was not delivered by the agreed date, the opposite party cannot be permitted to take benefit of a restraint order passed by the NGT after the agreed date of delivery of possession of the apartment to the complainant,”the forum said.
Since the developer was not in a position to deliver the possession of the penthouse or provide an alternative property, the court ordered it to refund the entire amount paid by the buyer — ₹2.06 crore.The developer was also asked to pay a sum of ₹10,000 as the cost of litigation to the complainant.