National Commission on Non-Delivery of Possession of Flat by Builder

December 12, 2017

Shalini Lanbah v. M/s Unitech Ltd. & Anr.

This case was decided by the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (National Commission) in October this year, whereby the National Commission directed Unitech Ltd. to refund the entire amount to the homebuyer alongwith interest @10% per annum.  

Also read All you need to Know about Real Estate Law in India

Factual Matrix- The complainant herein has filed the consumer complaint against the Builder Unitech Ltd. (opposite party in the case). The Complainant alleged that she had booked an apartment in one of the projects of opposite party in 2006 and was assured possession that the apartment would be delivered within 36 months. The total consideration amount agreed by the parties was ₹66,40,938/- and admittedly the complainant paid total sum of ₹59,78,355/- to the opposite party against the agreed consideration amount.  Despite that opposite party failed to complete the construction and deliver possession of the apartment after expiry of stipulated date of delivery of possession.

Aggrieved by this the Complainant filed a consumer complaint against the opposite party for deficiency in services under the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The opposite party in the case contended that delay in completing the construction and delivering possession of the subject apartment to the complainant was unintentional and the opposite party was prevented from completing the construction and deliver possession because of circumstances beyond the control of the opposite party.

Commission’s Holding- The National Commission did not accept Unitech’s plea on the ground that Unitech did not adduce any evidence to substantiate its contention.

The National Commission stated that the facts indicated that the delivery was promised to complainant by 16.09.2009. That more than 90% amount has been paid by the complainant to the opposite party but even after eight years after the expiry of stipulated date of delivery of possession, the opposite party failed to deliver the possession. The National Commission ruled that as the opposite party in the case has opted not to file written statement despite of service of notice of complaint, the allegations of the complainants were deemed to have been admitted as correct.

That despite of having received more than 90% of the consideration amount, the opposite party has failed to deliver possession of the subject apartment to the complainant. In absence of any explanation for failure to comply with the stipulation of delivery of possession, it was held that the opposite has committed deficiency in service as also has indulged in unfair trade practice.

Amount of compensation- National Commission ruled that this being a case where the opposite party not being in a position to offer possession of the apartment as the allottee could not be expected to wait for possession of the apartment for indefinite period.

The Commission directed the Opposite   party   to shall   the   entire    amount   of ₹59,78,355/- (Rupees Fifty Nine Lakh Seventy Eight Thousand Three Hundred and Fifty Five only)  to the complainant within six weeks alongwith compensation of simple interest  @ 10% per annum from the date of each payment till the realisation of the amount alongwith Rs. 10,000 as cost of litigation.

Also read Important Judgments under the Real Estate Law in India.