The state consumer commission, in a series of directives to M/s Lakdawala Developers Pvt Ltd and its directors, ordered them to compensate a buyer for not giving a flat on time. The commission found them guilty of unfair trade practice and being deficient in service.
The order included giving the flat along with terrace and car parking. If the buyer does not want it, then the developer will have to pay Rs 74.08 lakh as per ready reckoner rate. The commission also directed the developer and its directors to jointly and severally pay nine percent interest per annum of Rs 17 lakh that the buyer had paid in March 2006 towards the flat.
Additionally, they are also to pay Rs 6 lakhs towards mental and physical agony and litigation costs. The interest amount itself comes to Rs 26 lakhs.
The order dated September 1 and (uploaded recently) was passed by Justice SP Tavade, president and AZ Khwaja, judicial member of the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC). It was passed on a complaint by Sion-Koliwada resident Anita Marwah against Lakdawala Developers and its directors Usman Lakdawala, Musa Lakdawala, Ebraim Lakdawala, Mohammed Lakdawala, Anwar Lakdawala and Mohammed Lakdawala.
An employee of Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, Marwah was looking for a residential flat in Sion-Koliwada and booked a flat in it. She booked a flat measuring 730 sqft built-up area with 100 sqft terrace and car parking in 'Maria Annexe', a project of the developer in Antop Hill. Marwah paid a total of Rs 17 lakh towards full and final settlement after which an Agreement of Sale was registered. When Marwah did not get the possession of the flat despite reminders, she filed a consumer complaint.
The developer firm countered the complaint stating that the directors are not concerned with the affairs of the developer firm. It stated that due to encroachment the project could not be completed despite orders against the encroacher as it refused to comply.
During the hearing, the commission stated that the plot of land was not verified by the developer and encroachment on the land was not the complainant's concern. It said that the developer sought extra FSI after starting the project which led to further delay and all these only showed a half-hearted hurried approach of the developer. It said that from the extract produced by the complainant from the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, Government of India, it was clear that all mentioned in the complaint were directors of the firm. It added that the complainant having to stay on rent and waiting for 17 years only showed that she had to suffer.
The commission further stated that in another case against the developer, which went up to the National Consumer Commission, the developer was directed to give a refund based on Ready Reckoner rate. In the present case, since the construction was complete, the complainant sought possession and interest on the amount she had towards flats consideration. The commission stated that flat be given or on buyers option ready reckoner rate be paid. The order is to be compiled in a month's time.