Citizens' Issues
Land Acquisition Invalid if Compensation Not Paid

The Supreme Court has held that if compensation for land acquired under the 1894 Land Acquisition Act has not been paid to the landowner, or deposited with a competent court and retained in the treasury, the acquisition would be deemed to have lapsed and would be covered under The Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 (the 2013 Act) entitling the landowners to higher compensation. However, the rider is that such an award of compensation should be five years or more prior to the enactment of the 2013 Act which was notified on 1 January 2014.

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Builder Told To Refund Forfeited Amount

The Pune Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has directed a city-based builder to repay the advance he had received from a customer, as he failed to deliver the flat booked by the customer.

Anant Shankar Keskar had booked a flat in a scheme in Dhankawdi developed by Shree Sai Construction on 24 September 2010, by paying Rs4.5 lakh. The total cost of the flat was agreed at Rs37 lakh, of which Rs10 lakh was to be paid by cash and the rest by cheque. An agreement for sale of the flat was duly registered.

Since Mr Keskar could not pay the rest of the money in time, the builder sold the flat saying that the customer forfeited Rs4.5 lakh. According to the builder, the forfeiture was as per the clause in the agreement for sale. The Forum rejected the argument that the customer had surrendered the right to get back the money he had paid to the builder if the agreement became void for any reason. “In fact, it was wrong and illegal to insert such a clause in the agreement of sale,” the Forum observed. It, therefore, held that the builder should pay Mr Keskar Rs4.5 lakh along with interest @18%pa (per annum) and a compensation of Rs25,000 for mental and physical harassment. The Forum also ordered the builders to pay Rs2,000 to Mr Keskar as cost of litigation.
 

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