New Delhi:  A construction firm has been asked to pay Rs four lakh by a consumer forum here which said that it was trying to grab the money of “innocent consumers” with “mala fide” intention.

New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked Vian Infrastructure Ltd to pay the money to Haryana resident Ashok Kumar, who had booked a flat in firm’s project in Haridwar, Uttarakhand in 2009.

“The unrebutted evidence (in the case) clearly shows the mala fide intention of Opposite Party (construction firm) in grabbing the money of innocent consumers to run away with it,” the forum’s bench, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said.

The forum also held the firm “guilty of deficiency and unfair trade practices” in demanding all documents for returning of deposit made but not acted upon by it.

“We direct the OP to return to Rs 3.3 lakh…and pay compensation of Rs 50,000 for harassment, mental agony and Rs 20,000 as litigation expenses,” it said.

According to Kumar, he had deposited Rs 3.3 lakh with the firm, at different times from 2006 to 2009, for booking of flat in its proposed Future Project.

Initially he had booked a plot in Haridwar, Uttrakhand, but later, the firm asked him to shift to it’s project in Neemrana in Rajasthan for which he agreed and gave more money.

Later, when Kumar did not find much progress in the project, he demanded refund of money on which the firm asked him to send all the original papers.

However, even after receiving all the documents, the firm did not refund the money and, thereafter, Kumar approached the consumer forum.

The firm did not rebut Kumar’s claim before the forum and the order was passed ex parte.

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