NCDRC ASKS BUILDER TO REFUND MONEY + INTEREST @ 18%
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has ordered a leading realty development firm to refund, along with 18% interest, an amount paid by a buyer for a property booked in 2010 that is yet to be finished.
- Builder claims that interest claimed by the complainants cannot be termed as compensation and if the interest component is excluded, the pecuniary value of the complaint does not exceed Rs.1,00,00,000/- except in one case.
- The complainants in our opinion cannot be compelled to accept the aforesaid alternative flats, after nine year of their having booked the flats with the opposite party.
- Refund of the principal amount along with interest at the rate of 10% per annum, such an offer in our view would constitute an unfair trade practice considering that as per the agreement between the parties the flat buyers were required to pay interest at the rate of 18% per annum compounded quarterly in the event of default.
- It is a matter of common knowledge that, there has been substantial appreciation in the land value in Greater Noida, since 2006. This can be verified even from a comparison of the Circle rates of land in Greater Noida in the year 2006, with the circle rates of land in 2015, which is an information available in public domain.
- It can also not be disputed that there has been steep increase in the cost of construction in last about nine years. Therefore, if the complainants have to purchase today the built-up flats of the same size and specifications and in the same locality, the cost may not be less than the price agreed to be paid by the complainants to the opposite party, and interest thereon at the rate of 18% per annum.
- The complainants are also entitled to suitable compensation for the mental agony and harassment undergone by them in last about nine years, awaiting a roof over their head, and making numerous calls and visits to the office of the opposite party.
- So called agitation of the farmers took place in Noida Extension, whereas the project in dispute is located in Greater Noida. Several builders including the Unitech itself had completed and delivered other projects in the same locality which clearly shows that there was no impact of agitations at the project site.
Builder to refund the amount paid to it by the buyers, along with compensation in the form of simple interest on that amount, at the rate of 18% per annum from the date of deposit till the date of payment. The payment shall be made within six weeks from the date of judgment.