Mumbai: Commission directs construction firms to pay Rs 10.5 lakhs with interest to flat buyers

The complainants had reserved flats ranging from 365 square feet in Ionic Eco City, a project in Palghar district that the opponents had advertised as theirs.

Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Monday, November 14, 2022, 03:55 PM IST
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State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission | File

Mumbai: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has directed construction firms and their directors to refund over Rs 10.25 lakh to three flat buyers with 12 percent interest from 2012 until the date of payment.

Additionally, each of the three home buyers will get Rs 1.25 lakh each for mental harassment and litigation costs. If the above amount is not paid in 30 days, the same will have to be paid with 15 percent interest per annum.

Earlier, FPJ had reported about the same firms and their directors being directed to give Rs 33.5 lakh to eight flat buyers and similar compensation as in the present case.

The three orders were given on September 23

Justice SP Tavade, president, and S T Barne, judicial member of the SCDRC, issued the three orders on September 23, 2022 (uploaded November 12, 2022). Mangilal Jat and Mira Bhayander couple Puneet and Nidhi Gupta of Mumbai filed the complaints, which resulted in the orders.They had filed a complaint against Andheri-based M/s. Ionic Realty (Eco City) Pvt. Ltd., its directors, and M/s. Crystal Homecon Pvt. Ltd. and its director.

The complainants had reserved flats ranging from 365 square feet in Ionic Eco City, a project in Palghar district that the opponents had advertised as theirs. The flats were booked for different periods in 2012, and allotment letters were issued for the same.

The complainants paid Rs 3.25 lakhs and Rs 3.75 lakhs

The complainants had separately paid between Rs 3.25 lakh and Rs 3.75 lakh for their respective flats. After receiving partial consideration, Ionic informed the flat buyers that they had transferred development rights to Homecon. Flats' total consideration was between Rs 11.90 lakhs and Rs 15.08 lakhs.

However, when the agreement was not done despite follow-ups, the complainants visited the spot and were surprised to see someone else's board put up on the property.

They eventually learned that the opposing parties did not have the right to develop the property and filed a police complaint. The case was transferred to the economic crimes wing.

Earlier, their bail plea was rejected

When Ionic approached Sessions Court, their bail plea was rejected. They stated in court that they would clear the debts of flat purchasers, but this did not occur.

Even after complaints were filed and notices issued, the complainant did not turn up for a hearing. As in previous cases, the commission was eventually forced to issue a paper publication notice and move proceedings ex parte.

The commission said that there was a deficiency in service and unfair trade practices. It stated that because there is no prospect of new flats being built, the opponents must issue a refund with interest calculated from the date the amounts were paid to the actual date of payment. 

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