Mumbai: Builder Penalised A Second Time For The Same Offence

Mumbai: Builder Penalised A Second Time For The Same Offence

The complainant said that the developer neglected to hand over the possession of the flat, and kept making fake assurances.

Pranali LotlikarUpdated: Tuesday, May 07, 2024, 12:32 AM IST
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Mumbai: Builder Penalised A Second Time For The Same Offence |

The National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed a Mira Road-based real estate developer to pay back the booking amount paid by one of its customers in 1998. The commission, while upholding the state commission’s order, directed the firm to pay Rs4,61,000 with 12% interest from 2003 onwards, along with Rs 50,000 as an additional amount towards mental agony. As per the order copy, the developer was penalised in the same case by the criminal court in 1998. However, the amount was not specified before the commission.

The customer, Suresh Kumar, had approached Kalindi Enterprises to book a flat in its property named ‘Vrindavan Avenue’. The cost of the property was Rs5,56,990, of which Kumar paid Rs31,000 as advance. It was agreed between the two that the remaining amount would be paid between August 1994 and September 1996. The complainant said that the developer neglected to hand over the possession of the flat, and kept making fake assurances. Kumar finally decided to withdraw his interest from the property and asked the developer to return the invested money.

Developer Penalised For Dishonored Cheques, Court Rejects Double Jeopardy Argument

The developer issued two cheques to Kumar, which were dishonoured; however, the developer later paid via pay order, but failed to pay the remaining amount of Rs 4,16,000 to Kumar. He initially filed a criminal case and later approached consumer forums. The developer was penalised by the court. Opposing the claim, the advocate for the developer said that the dual penalty for a similar case becomes a case of double jeopardy, but this argument was rejected by the NCDRC. The NCDRC said, “Sometimes in certain contexts, some legal jurisdictions may sound to have an outwardly overlapping texture but that does not imply that they should be called mutually exclusive jurisdictions. The express language of sections of the Consumer Protection Act leaves no scope for ambiguity or misinterpretation in this regard. That is why the remedy, which provides for compensation under the Consumer Protection Act, is in addition to and not in derogation of other laws.”

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