The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC), Maharashtra has directed a construction firm to pay 21 per cent interest on the flat booking amount paid by a senior citizen.
The high interest rate, which is rarely awarded, was given after the elderly didn’t get flat possession. Passed on July 26, the order asked to refund Rs 30.42 lakh along with 21 per cent interest per annum since 2013.
It also awarded Rs 1,00,000 compensation for mental agony and Rs 50,000 towards cost of litigation to Ganesh Gavali, a former Reserve Bank of India employee, and his wife. In 2013, Gavalis had booked a flat in Mulund after M/s S Siddharth Construction Co gave an advertisement.
They paid Rs 15.46 lakh in April 2013 as the booking amount and further Rs 15.46 lakh next month. When the construction company demanded further Rs 2 lakh, even that was paid in cash in July of the same year. However, when the Gavalis followed up with the firm to have an agreement, the developer assured but delayed executing one.
Upon visiting the site, the couple was shocked as there was no constructionactivityhappening. After waiting for five years, they issued notices to the firm and approached the commission. "Twenty one percent interest is rare. A little explanation justifying the interest which is extra-ordinary would have made the order stronger," said Mumbai Grahak Panchayat chairman and Adv Shirish Deshpande.