NCDRC (National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission) has ordered realty major Unitech to refund the principal amount paid by a home-buyer with 18% interest for failing to deliver a flat in Greater Noida. A Gurgaon resident, Swarn Talwar, had booked the flat in the company’s Unitech Habitat project in 2006 and had already paid 95% of the cost.
As per the agreement, if the buyer failed to pay the balance or there was a delay in paying instalments, he was liable to pay interest at 18% per annum compounded quarterly. If he failed to pay or delayed paying any instalment with interest within 90 days from the due date, the developer had the right to cancel the allotment and forfeit the entire amount of earnest/ registration money. But, if the builder failed to deliver flat in time, it was required to pay only the holding charges calculated at Rs5 per sq ft per month of the super built-up area.
In their order, Justices VK Jain and BC Gupta observed that the conditions in the buyer-seller agreement were ‘unfair’ and ‘unreasonable’ as these were more tilted towards the builder. Mr Talwar’s counsel said that the developer was directed to pay the compensation within six weeks. NCRDC recorded that while the builder charged compound interest at 18% for buyer’s default, it was to pay less than 3%pa of the capital investment for its failure to deliver on time.