Consumer Issues
Tribunal asks HDFC ERGO GenLife to pay Rs16.68 lakh to family of accident victim

The Motor Accident Claims Tribunal asked HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co, with which the offending vehicle was insured, to pay Rs16.68 lakh to the deceased's family

New Delhi: The family of a 29-year-old man, who died after a rashly-driven truck hit the car he was driving, has been awarded Rs16.68 lakh as compensation by the Motor Accident Claims Tribunal (MACT).


The MACT has directed HDFC ERGO General Insurance Co Ltd with which the offending vehicle was insured to pay the amount to the deceased's family comprising of his wife, two minor children, mother and unmarried sister.


"I am of the considered view that respondent 3 (insurance company) is liable to indemnify respondent 1 (driver of truck) and respondent 2 (owner of truck) and is liable to make the payment of compensation to the petitioner.


"I accordingly, grant a compensation to the tune of Rs16.68 lakh to all the petitioners (victim's family)," said MACT presiding officer BS Chumbak.


The tribunal's order came on plea by the family of the victim, late Sujit Kumar, who used to work as a driver.


According to the police, the Indica car driven by Kumar was hit by a rashly-driven truck near Ghazipur dairy farm here on 28 November 2011 afternoon.


The car was badly damaged in the mishap while Kumar got fatal head injuries and his body got entangled in the vehicle and a fire brigade rescue team had to called in to extricate his body from the wreckage, the police had added.


Kumar was rushed to the LBS hospital here, where he was declared brought dead.


While the owner and the driver of the truck had argued they had been falsely implicated in the case, an eyewitness to the mishap specifically deposed that the accident occurred due to rash driving by the truck driver.


The tribunal relied on the un-rebutted testimony of the eyewitness to hold that the accident had occurred due to the rash and negligent driving.


HC orders prosecution of doctor for causing death of patient

While absolving the doctor of a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder, the High Court held him responsible for causing death of the patient due to negligence

Mumbai: Holding a doctor responsible for causing death of a patient due to negligence, the Bombay High Court has, however, absolved him of a more serious charge of culpable homicide not amounting to...

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Don't pay VAT to builders, says Grahak Panchayat

As the last date for paying VAT by developers on flats sold during 2006 and 2010 is nearing, several builders are sending notices and exerting pressure on buyers to cough up the money. However, consumer organisations say the deadline is for builders and flat buyers need not pay the VAT

Several home buyers from Maharashtra are complaining harassment from builders for coughing up more money as value added tax (VAT). Citing a circular issued by the Maharashtra Sales Tax Department, builders are asking flat buyers to pay the additional money before 31st October for their homes bought between 2006 and 2010. However, Pune-based Grahak Panchayat has asked buyers neither to pay any heed to these tactics from builders nor pay any money as VAT.


Following the directions from the Supreme Court, developers who would pay the VAT before 31st October would be exempted from interest and penalty. This has prompted several developers to issue second notices to flat buyers.


Several builders are even exerting pressure and also threatening to charge exorbitant interest rates or take legal action on buyers if he/she refuses to pay the money. That too when the circular issued by the Sales Tax department clearly says the developer has to pay MVAT on his/her profits. Here are the specific points mentioned in the circular under its FAQ section...


From 20.06.2006 to 31.03.2010

1. Composition Scheme U/s 42(3) Under this scheme, the developer has to pay 5% tax on the agreement value. Land deduction is not available. Input tax credit is available to the reduction of 4%.

2. Actual Expense Method U/r 58 Under rule 58, the deduction of labour & service charges is available on actual basis. Land deduction is also available. Set-off will be calculated subject to the condition u/r 53 and 54.

3. Standard Deduction Method U/r 58 Under rule 58, the deduction of land cost will be allowed. Thereafter 30% standard deduction from remaining amount will be available as per proviso to sub-rule 1. Set-off will be calculated subject to the condition u/r 53 and 54.


After 01.04.2010

The developers can opt for fourth option also, under this option u/s 42(3A), developer has to pay 1% tax on agreement value. No land deduction and input tax credit is available.


It further states: “Needless to mention that the developer will be required to make the payment of interest according to the provisions of law.”


Here is a copy of the circular issued by the Sales Tax Department...


Here is a copy of the the Supreme Court order...


On 14 September 2012, Sudhakar Velankar filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Bombay High Court. Here are the points mentioned in the PIL…


[A] Once the buyer pays the stamp fee for the transaction of the immovable property, VAT cannot be recovered by the builder from him/her.

[B] Agreement to Sale, of the flat under construction, does not constitute SALE. It does not give the possession of the flat. It does not give the title to the property purchased. It only assures the sale of the property on certain future date and on completion of the construction of the flat.

[C] The instalments paid under the agreement, are not “deferred payment of price” but are “advance payment of agreed price”. The payment creates a charge on the property of the builder, which is not a sale, as defined under MVAT Act.


For those buyers who have been given notices by their builders, here is the “What to do” guideline provided by the Grahak Panchayat...


It is not binding on you to give written reply to the notice, legal or otherwise, of the builder. You have liberty not to respond to the notice and not comply with the demands of VAT amount from the builder.


If you have to respond, you may respond in very precise manner as under...

  • Please write to the builder as an individual. Do not involve the society or condominium in this issue. Individually written letters, however, can be forwarded to the builder in one bunch.
  • Please send the letters in any of the following manners.

-by hand delivery/courier, insisting on receipt with stamp and date.

-By Speed Post. preserve the computerised receipt of the post office.

-By registered post AD.

  • Those who have already written letters on the receipt of first notice might have received the second notice. They should also follow the same course of action.


DRAFT Reply to the notice of the builder for demanding VAT

(Delete the part not applicable to you)









M/s …………………………



Subject: Your Notice/letter for demand of VAT


Dear Sir,


I/We have received your notice/letter dated ………. For payment of VAT amount against flat No…….  in your ………………….. project. In this regard I/We have to write to you as under:


The matter of VAT on Flat is sub-judice with Hon. High Court and till such time that the hon. Court decides the matter, I have no intention to pay tax money.


Your demand of VAT money is not in proper form. Please issue a tax invoice or bill, as the case may be, as required under the MVAT Act. On receipt of your invoice/bill, I will respond appropriately to same.


Further as promised in the registered agreement you have do the following things

1.         Formation of society

2.         Conveyance in favour of society

3.         Return of balance amount after formation of society (as per Grahak Panchayat, Pune and as per Commissioner of co-op society the charges for society formation are just Rs500/- per member hence you return the balance amount with 18% interest)

4.         As per the MSEDC guidelines and as per the information received from Grahak Panchayat Pune the electricity meter charges are just Rs3,000 to Rs10,000 per flat and you have collected Rs……………. Which are very high. Hence please give receipts of payments made to MSEDC and pay the balance amount with 18% interest.

5.         Also as per Flat Ownership Act 1963, you have to form the society within four months from date of registration of the flat agreements by the 60% consumers. But you have not formed the same. And also you have not made conveyance in favour of the society. Hence you are requested to do the needful within 30 days from receipt of this notice otherwise we will take appropriate action against you at your cost.

6.         Also as per the promise made in the agreement you have not provided amenities. Hence you please provide it.

7.         Further as MOFA 1963 you are not to collect the parking charges but you have collected illegally the parking charges of Rs……………… per head. Please return the same within 30 days with 18% interest.


We are giving you 30 days time for above all facts and if you fail to comply then we will take appropriate action against you at your cost.


Thanking you


Yours faithfully

Sign ………………………………… 



Flat buyers, who are under pressure from the builder for paying VAT can also contact Grahak Panchayat at their Pune Office. Grahak Panchayat, 2020, Sadashiv Peth, Tilak Road, Pune 411030 (Opp SP College, above Grahak Peth) on any Monday between 6pm to 7.30pm.




2 years ago

Very informative article.
I made agreement in Sep2009 & got possession in Oct2010. flat was almost ready at the time of agreement. now the builder has filed summery suit with 15% interest to recover 5% VAT.
I want to know the legality of the suit.


4 years ago

We have already paid the amount to the builder and now she is refusing to return the money to us. Please guide us as to what can be done

naina kalyan

4 years ago

i need to know if vat and service tax is applicable in my case. my agreement is dated june 2009 and i have not got poccession till date, although i have made all the payments. the said property is a bungalow scheme in a village(gram panchayat) .


5 years ago

The notice from builder threatens about cancelling the Agreement Sale and approaching the home loan financial institution to make us defaulter.
They also ask about penalty charges and legal threatening.
1. Can they cancel the agreement legally?
2. Can they disrupt the home loan taken by us?


5 years ago

The article is very informative. Will it make sense to send the notice mentioning other problems (instead of VAT)?

I heard that Builder is not ready to share how he has calculated the VAT amount.

jagdish chavan

5 years ago

As usual, very informative article.

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