Homebuyer can’t be allowed to Reap Benefits of Delay in Taking Possession- Supreme Court

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October 25, 2018

In the recent times, the legalities pertaining to Real Estate Sector has assumed substantial importance in the Judicial dictum of Courts. Time and again judgments are being passed which are strengthening the position of the homebuyers against the Developer. The case at hand pertains to delayed possession of flat, wherein the Supreme Court in view of the facts and circumstances of the case has ruled that the homebuyer cannot be allowed to reap benefits if she herself took delayed possession flat.

Case name: M/s. Supertech Ltd. v. Rajni Goyal

Brief Facts of the case- As per the Allotment Letter, possession was to be handed over in October 2013. As per the facts, the Appellant – Builder was not able to hand over possession of the flat in October 2013 and issued a Pre­-Possession Letter in 2015 to the Respondent – Purchaser for payment of the balance cost of the flat and other charges. However, the Respondent failed to pay the charges.

Later on the Respondent – Purchaser filed a Consumer Complaint against the Builder on the ground that on the date of issuance of the Pre-­Possession Letter, Builder had not obtained the Occupancy Certificate. The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) held that since there was a delay in handing over possession of the flat to the Respondent – Purchaser, the Appellant – Builder was liable to pay Interest to the Respondent – Purchaser by way of compensation. Aggrieved by the Order Builder filed a Review Petition before the Supreme Court.

Bench’s Verdict

In view of the facts and circumstances of the case, the Two-Judge Bench of the Supreme Court pronounced a verdict in favour of the Builder and made the following observations in the case:

  • That the possession of the flat was offered to the Respondent – Purchaser in December 2015 after obtaining the Completion Certificate for the building. That even though the Agreement provided for delivery of possession by 2013, the delay occurred because of various legal impediments.
  • That the period of Interest should close on April 2016 when the Full Occupancy Certificate was obtained by the Appellant-Builder.
  • That the Respondent-Purchaser could not have any further grievance after April 2016 with respect to delay in handing over possession. That the Respondent – Purchaser ought not to be allowed to reap the benefits of her own delay in taking possession.

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