Consumer forum directs a city-based builder, who sold the flat booked by the complainant in 1994 to another person, to refund the entire amount

Mumbai : The Maharashtra Consumer Forum has directed a city-based builder, who sold the flat booked by the complainant in 1994 to another person, to refund the entire amount paid by the complainant.

The complaint was filed by Mahendrakumar Narottamdas Gandhi on behalf of his minor daughter.  However, on attaining majority, Payal Mahendrakumar Gandhi was added as the complainant.

According to the complainant, in the year 1994, deceased builder R H Doshi came to know that the consumer was interested in buying a flat for his family at Mira Road in Thane district. The consumer was satisfied with the credentials of the partnership firm- besides Doshi, there were three partners- and agreed to accept Flat No 303 on Third Floor in ‘C’ Wing, Bharati Park, Mira Road, in Thane district that  was under construction.

The flat was booked in the name of his minor daughter Payalben. Doshi, on behalf of the partnership firm, issued a stamped receipt to him after receiving the payment. It was agreed that the price would not exceed Rs 4,50,000 during the period from 18/11/1994 to 11/03/1998. Doshi had received a sum of Rs 4,50,000 towards consideration of the flat.

The estimated period of completion of construction was December 1998.  For execution of the document and handing over possession of the flat, the date will be informed after due intimation in writing.  Even after December 1998, there was no information or response from the opponents.

Upon feeling suspicious, complainant Mahendrakumar Gandhi visited the site in the last week of October 1999 and was shocked to find that the flat booked by him in the name of his daughter-Payalben- has been sold to another party by name Rashmikant Harkisandas Sanghani.  The said flat was in his occupation.

On enquiry, it was revealed that R H Sanghani booked the flat in the year 1997 and obtained its possession in the year 1998.

“The flat booked by the complainant-Payalben- was ready in the year 1997, but the opponents did not give intimation of its completion. It is very surprising that the same flat was booked in the year 1997 in the name of Rashmikant Harkisandas Sanghani and possession was handed over to him in the year 1998,” the Forum observed.

“All these facts show that the opponents were never intending to hand over flat No 303 to the complainant in spite of receipt of the total amount of consideration of Rs 4,50,000.  Certainly, it is a deficiency in service on part of the opponents”.

Original complainant-Mahendrakumar Gandhi- had booked a flat for his minor daughter for her welfare.  Complainant-Payalben-did not get her dream house in spite of a long gap and payment of a huge amount and she had suffered mental pain and agony,” the Forum added.

The forum further said, “Now, opponents are not in a position to hand over the possession of flat No 303 to the complainant. They are liable to pay a refund of the amount with interest, compensation and cost to the complainant, who is a bonafide consumer and never booked the flat for commercial purpose.”

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