Mumbai: In a huge relief for eight home buyers, the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has directed a construction firm to refund over Rs 33.5 lakh with 12% interest till the date of payment. Additionally, each home buyer will receive Rs 1 lakh for mental harassment and Rs 25,000 towards litigation cost.
The eight orders, dated September 23, 2022, were given by Commission President Justice SP Tavade and Judicial Member ST Barne.
Complaint against Andheri-based M/s. Ionic Realty (Eco City) Pvt Ltd
The orders were passed on complaints by Mumbai residents Anil Gaud, Shrinivas Narkulla, Gurushan N Chahad, Dinesh R Kokam, Bismilla Md. Sultan and Casiana Conceicao Rodrigues, besides Vasai resident Pritam Ashok Rodge and Virar resident Radha Raman Jha.
The complaint was filed against Andheri-based M/s. Ionic Realty (Eco City) Pvt Ltd, its directors and M/s Crystal Homecon Pvt Ltd and its director. Most complaints were filed jointly with spouses or another person as the flats were booked jointly.
The complainants had booked flats ranging from 365sqft to 530sqft in the Ionic Eco City project proposed in Palghar. The flats were booked between February 2011 and July 2013 and allotment letters were issued for the same. The complainants had separately paid between Rs 2.75 lakh and Rs 6.25 lakh for their respective flats. After receiving part consideration, Ionic informed the buyers that they have transferred development rights to Homecon.
Some other co.'s board put up on the property
When the agreement wasn’t done despite follow-up, the complainants visited the spot and were surprised to see someone else’s board put up on the property. They eventually learnt that the opposite parties did not have the right to develop. They approached the police and the case was transferred to the Economic Offences Wing. When Ionic approached the Sessions Court, their bail plea was rejected. Before the High Court, they said that they will clear dues of flat purchasers but that didn’t happen.
Even after the complaint was filed and notices issued, the developer didn’t turn up for hearing. Eventually, the commission had to move exparte in the cases. The commission said there was deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. It stated that as there is no scope of flats coming up, the opponents will have to give a refund with interest to be calculated from the date when amounts were paid to the actual date of payment.