Mumbai: Developer to refund Rs24 lakh with 15% interest to homebuyer

Ashutosh M ShuklaUpdated: Sunday, November 27, 2022, 08:04 PM IST
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Mumbai: The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) directed a Mumbai developer to refund Rs24 lakh with 15% interest per annum (from the date of payment till realisation) to a homebuyer for not giving a flat on time. It also directed that Rs1.25 lakh be given (within a month) towards compensation for mental agony and litigation costs. The interest amount alone comes to Rs28.80 lakh from the date of payment to date.

The order dated November 15 was passed by SP Tavade (president) and ST Barne (member) of the SCDRC. It was passed on a complaint by Vijay Paunikar against Om Builders & Developers and others. In 2011, Mr Paunikar got to know of a redevelopment scheme by the opponents and booked a 1-BHK flat costing Rs73 lakh in Ashoka Heights at Mulund.

Mr Paunikar paid a total of Rs31 lakh as booking and advance payment through different modes including a bank loan and refundable PF loan. He was promised that he will get possession of the flat by December 2015. However, the flat was not provided. When he made inquiries, he got to know that there was no progress in work while he was paying instalments for the loans he had taken. He asked a for refund and an amount of Rs5 lakh was refunded in December 2016, with an additional Rs2 lakh in September 2019. However, the remainder was not refunded.

During the hearing, the commission observed that since the amount was paid to Om, Mr Paunikar was a consumer and it is clear from the receipts of consideration that the opponents failed and neglected to even start the project in eight years, despite Mr Paunikar putting his hard-earned money into the project. The commission stated that as Mr Paunikar had his money blocked for a long time, he was entitled to interest on the amount.

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