Millennium Post

Unitech to pay over `60L for failing to deliver apartment

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) asked the firm to pay the amount with an interest of 18 per cent per annum, from the date the total demand amount was deposited with the Unitech, which is also facing several other complaints, including a joint claim by 144 home-buyers.

A bench headed by Justice J M Malik held that the desire to acquire the property had “ruined the life” of the buyer and the real estate major “harassed” him by asking “for interest on the delayed payment when there was no progress of project”. The consumer commission directed the firm to pay Rs 59,98,560 to Sanjay Arora, who had booked the flat in Sector Pi II, Greater Noida, in 2006, besides Rs one lakh for compensation and litigation charges.

“As a matter of fact, the desire to acquire the above said apartment has ruined the life of the complainant. This is an admitted fact that the opposite party (firm) cannot hand over the apartment in dispute in favour of the complainant (Arora) because opposite party does not seem to make much headway with its project. “After the lapse of 8-9 years, he is offering another apartment, which was rightly refused by the complainant because this apartment will also carry with it so many other problems,” the bench said. In its order, the bench also noted that a number of cases against Unitech Ltd were pending before it, including a joint claim by 144 complainants.

“The opposite party harassed the complainant by asking for interest on the delayed payment when there was no progress of the project. The complainant fell sick and was admitted in hospitals one after the another... The action of the opposite party qua the complainant is below the belt,” the bench said.

“The opposite party will pay a sum of Rs 59,98,560, along with interest at the rate of 18 per cent per annum from the date of its deposit till its realisation. The complainant is also granted compensation for harassment, mental agony, anger, anguish, frustration and sadness, a sum of Rs 50,000 and litigation charges in the sum of Rs 50,000...,” it said.

According to the complaint, Arora had booked the apartment in November 2006 and it was to be given within 36 months. However, the flat has not been delivered till the present day. The firm, however, had denied all the allegations.

The company had submitted before NCDRC that the delay was due to economic meltdown in the real estate and the financial markets in India and also globally. In its order, the bench also noted that the firm took “the lion’s share of the price” in 2007 itself.

“Almost a decade is going to elapse. The purpose of the opposite party is to delay the case unnecessarily. A Fabian policy adopted by the opposite party must have benefited it a lot.

 It has already succeeded to feather its own nest i.e. to make profit at the cost of others,” the bench said.

It also said that “it is well said that justice delayed is not only justice denied, it is also justice circumvented, justice mocked and the system of justice, undermined.”
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