It is not only the common man who is complaining of being harassed by real estate developers.
Minister of state for information and broadcasting Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore also ran from pillar to post to get possession of his flat before relief came his way with the Supreme Court ordering Parsvnath Developers to hand over within two days a flat the minister had booked in Gurgaon.
The SC order on Friday related to the flat Rathore booked in the Exotica project in Sector 53 of Gurgaon in 2006 and for which he had paid around Rs 75 lakh. The developer promised to hand over the flat by October 2009.
The real estate company , which has been directed by the apex court to refund money to 70 buyers in its Ghaziabad project, failed to fulfil its promise, forcing the minister to initiate legal action against it.
Taking note of the inordinate delay in handing over the flat, a bench of Justices Dipak Misra and Amitava Roy gave the direction and said it would decide the amount of compensation at a later stage. It also restrained the company to make any fresh fiscal demand for handing over the flat.
The court passed the order on an appeal filed by Parsvnath challenging the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission’s January order directing the company to give the flat within eight months. The commission had asked the company to pay compensation to Rathore for delay in handing over the possession of the flat.
“We are of the view that the company cannot be allowed to restrict its liability to pay compensation of Rs. 10per sq. ft.of super area per month for the period of delay and it must pay compensation in the form of interest @ 12% per annum for the period the delivery of the possession to the complainant is delayed,“ the commission had said.
The company had tried to justify delay in construction on the ground that the real estate sector was badly hit by recession. The commission, however, had turned down the plea and directed the company to pay compensation.
The apex court had recently come to the relief of many home buyers who were harassed by developers by delaying handing over possession of flats for which they had invested their hard-earned money .
Holding that a consumer must not suffer due to delay on the part of real estate developers, the court had on October 18 directed refund of Rs 22 crore to 70 flat buyers who had invested in a Parsvnath housing project in Ghaziabad.
In another case, the court had on October 19 directed Unitech Residential Resorts Ltd to refund Rs 16.55 crore to 39 flat buyers who had invested in its Vista housing project seven years ago but were not given possession of flats till date.
“It needs no special emphasis to state that the property developer has to respect the contractual commitment. It has to live up to the terms of the contract and gain trust so that the people who dream of houses can repose faith in him. Not for nothing, it has been said, the foundation of any economy is faith and if faith is lost, everything is lost,“ the apex court had said.
A Parsvnath statement said, “The matter of Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was listed on Friday in the Supreme Court.According to the last order, the letter of possession for fit-out was offered by the company which was duly received by the customer. As submitted by the advocate of the company, since the flat is ready for fit-out, the court has directed that the possession should be handed over to the party within two days and no further payment should be made by the customer to the company till further orders“.