Homebuyer Can Seek Refund If Possession Is Delayed Beyond One Year: Consumer Court
In a judgment that brings relief to millions of home-buyers, a consumer court has ruled that a home buyer is well within his rights to demand refund of the entire amount paid, along with a nominal interest rate, if the flat has not been delivered even after a delay of one year from the promised date.
 
This is probably the first time that a clear time frame has been set by any judicial or quasi-judicial authority. Millions of home-buyers are often resigned to their fate when developers keep postponing the delivery of homes sometimes by several years. Several cases, especially in the National Capital Region (NCR), have ended with tragic consequences for the home-buyers. 
 
In a landmark order, Prem Narain, presiding member of the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC), New Delhi, earlier this month gave relief to Shalabh Nigam against the builder Orris Infrastructure Pvt Ltd.
 
The said builder was supposed to complete the construction work and hand over the physical possession of the flat that Shalabh Nigam had booked and for which he had nearly paid the entire amount. 
 
As per the agreement, "the complainant was supposed to be handed over the possession within 36 months with a grace period of six months from the date of allotment and the allotment is dated 24 August 2012, according to the NCDRC. Possession was due in February, 2016. 
 
"Clearly the builders have not been able to complete the project in time and deliver the possession of property in question to the complainant in time as per the allotment letter or the apartment buyer agreement,’’ the bench observed. ``It is now clearly established that the allottees have a right to ask for refund if the possession is inordinately delayed and particularly beyond one year."
 
The builder had promised that possession will soon be handed over and all common amenities of the project along with the facilities will be completed by 2014. The complainant has paid a sum of Rs88.96 lakh and this amount is reflected in the statement of accounts dated 14 May 2016, it said. 
 
The builder extended various reasons for the delay, most of which the bench rejected. 
 
"It was argued that total consideration of the apartment is Rs97.06 lakh and if the allotment is cancelled, and refund is ordered, then Opposite Party (the builder) is entitled to forfeit 10 per cent of this amount as earnest money as per the agreed clause," it said citing a clause in the agreement. The bench rejected this contention too. The buyer had made timely payments on all its earlier instalments. 
 
In its order the bench told the builder to complete the construction work and hand over the physical possession of the flat complete in all respects as per agreement till 30 September 2019 after obtaining the occupancy certificate. 
 
It also directed it to pay interest at a  rate of 6% per annum (pa) on the amount deposited by the home-buyer from the due date of possession till the actual date of giving possession. 
 
For the amounts paid after the due date of possession, the interest shall be payable from the date of completion of one year from the date of deposit till the date of physical possession. The receivables of compensation in the form of interest at 6% shall be adjusted at the time of possession before any due amount is taken from the complainant by the builder, it said. 
 
If, however, the builder is unable to deliver the flat by 30 September 2019, the buyer shall be at liberty to take refund of the total deposited amount along with interest at 10% per annum from the date of the respective deposits (from or after 5 September 2012) till actual payment, which the builder will have to pay within six months.  
 
If the homebuyer does not ask for refund, he shall be entitled to get interest at 6%pa as already ordered till possession is given, the bench declared. 
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    COMMENTS

    AAR

    3 months ago

    Government should immediately make this into a law.

    REPLY

    BIPIN SAVLA

    In Reply to AAR 3 months ago

    welcome judgement but not much of use when interest is measly 6% and what about cash paid ( if any) + stamp duty,registration charges, GST etc

    Mobile Internet Speeds in India Fell in April, Ranks 121: Ookla
    India witnessed a dip in mobile speeds in April 2019 with its rank remaining at 68th position in fixed broadband speeds globally and has declined in ranking to 121 in mobile speeds, Ookla, the company behind Speedtest, said on Monday in updates to its Speedtest Global Index for April 2019.
     
    While India has maintained its position in fixed broadband with average download speeds of 29.25mbps, the country has witnessed a dip in mobile speeds with average download speed of 10.71 Mbps, as per the report. 
     
    According Ookla's announcement in the beginning of 2018, India clocked 67th rank globally for fixed broadband speeds and 109th for mobile Internet speeds. 
     
    In absolute terms, India's performance in mobile speeds has deteriorated from that of last year. 
     
    The April Speedtest Global Index shows Norway at pole position globally for mobile Internet with an average download speed of 65.41mbps. Singapore takes the top spot for fixed broadband with an average download speed of 197.50mbps. 
     
    Ookla Co-founder and general manager Doug Suttles said in a statement: "Networks are extremely complex entities whose performance is impacted by everything from quality of physical infrastructure to the geographical regions they are placed." 
     
    "India has unique challenges due to both the country's large geographic size and population. The number of people using a network at a given time is one of the biggest factors for network congestion and slow down. Overall, we believe they are doing an admirable job given the complexities of the market," he added.
     
    Ookla's Speedtest Global Index compares Internet speed data monthly from around the world. Data for the Index comes from the hundreds of millions of tests taken by real people using Speedtest every month. The company has 40 million active users in India conducting over 800,000 tests a day. 
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    High airfare drags air passenger traffic lower
    High airfares as a result of capacity constraint dragged the domestic air passenger traffic lower by 4.2 per cent to 109.95 lakh in April 2019 on a year-on-year (Y-o-Y) basis, ratings agency ICRA said on Thursday.
     
    A day ago, data furnished by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) showed that air passenger traffic declined to 1.09 crore in April from 1.15 crore reported for the corresponding month of the previous fiscal. 
     
    The development assumes significance as the last monthly Y-o-Y de-growth in the domestic passenger traffic was witnessed in June 2013. 
     
    As per a note by ICRA, the downtrend was primarily attributed to adverse impact on the industry capacity which has been hit hard due to grounding of aircraft by Jet Airways which ceased operations from April 18, 2019. 
     
    The consequent increase in airfares due to the demand-supply imbalance impacted the industry passenger load factors (PLFs). 
     
    "The discontinuation of operations by Jet Airways has impacted 14 per cent of the total industry capacity. Overall, the moderation in capacity starting February 2019 has resulted in increased airfares...," said Kinjal Shah, Vice President and Co-Head, Corporate Sector Ratings, ICRA. 
     
    "India being a high price sensitive market, it has affected the passenger traffic growth from October 2018 onwards. While there has been redeployment of some of the aircraft of Jet Airways by the other airlines and thus some moderation in the airfares between April 2019 and May 2019, overall they continue to be high," Shah added.
     
    ICRA added that while the increased airfares are likely to support the profitability of the airlines in an environment of high costs, the impact on passenger growth does not bode well for the industry.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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