13 Jan 2023 3:20 PM GMT
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench comprising Mr. Ram Surat Ram Maurya as Presiding Member and Dr. Inder Jit Singh as Member disposed of a consumer complaint filed by a set of individuals(complainants) against M/s Landmark Apartments Pvt. Ltd. (Opposite Party 1) due to the inordinate delay in handing over possession of the purchased land. The complainants...
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench comprising Mr. Ram Surat Ram Maurya as Presiding Member and Dr. Inder Jit Singh as Member disposed of a consumer complaint filed by a set of individuals(complainants) against M/s Landmark Apartments Pvt. Ltd. (Opposite Party 1) due to the inordinate delay in handing over possession of the purchased land. The complainants paid a total sum of 93,48,000/- INR as sale amount for said Shop in ‘The Mall’ that was going to be constructed by the opposite parties. As possession was not handed over, the complainants asked for return of the principal amount along with 18% interest on the same. Moreover, in the normal course of time, the investment of the complainants could have got returns of 1,68,26,400/- INR and all this totals up to 2,61,74,400/- INR. The OPs (Opposite Parties) have paid only Rs.65,50,612/- to the complainants and thus the complaint was filed.
On the pretext of the assurances given by the OPs the complainant had paid the total sale price at the pre-launch booking. However, the OPs did not even start the construction of the said mall even three years after the payment was made. The OPs partly paid the complainant the assured returns of 93,480/- INR per month for three years on the investment, but they still did not hand over possession. When the complainants sought for a refund on 30/09/2010, Mr. Sandeep Chillar (Opposite Party 2) again defrauded the complainants into signing a false agreement and told them that the pending assured returns amount of Rs.6,84,000/- shall be adjusted in the new agreement/sale price and that the area of the shop is being increased. The OPs promised enhanced assured returns of Rs.1,00,320/- to the complainants for another three years.
After four years, when the complainants sought a refund with interest, the OPs once more pressured them into signing another contract by claiming they were developing a cyber park and their outstanding return amount of Rs. 4,74,012/- would be factored into the new sale price. The sale price for the same was fixed at Rs.1,05,05,000/- and assured returns of Rs.1,05,050/- till possession. The possession was promised within 36 months. After 15 months, the OPs once more ceased paying the complainants' assured returns and, to stop further payments of assured returns, provided the complainants with misleading information about possession of the unfinished project.
The main contention that was raised by the OPs were that the complainants were not consumers as defined in Section 2 (1) (d) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. The complainants initially booked a commercial shop in one of the projects of the opposite parties, against which the complainants were regularly drawing assured monetary returns as promised. The complainants were then allotted a different space in another commercial project, and they also received the assured returns as promised. Another point that was raised was that the commercial space allotted to the complainants was to be only run by I.T. professionals and so, it could not be utilized by them. The OPs also alleged that through the possession of the I.T. space was offered to the complainants; they never approached the former for the same or to clear pending dues.
The NCDRC bench first stated that the contention of the OPs that the complainants are not consumers because they bought the unit for a business or investment purpose is disproven because no supporting evidence has been shown. The argument made by the OPs that the delay was caused by unforeseen circumstances is erroneous because possession of the unit has still not been provided even after a lapse of more than 10 years since the initial booking. The complainants cannot be compelled to wait unendingly and endure financial hardship. The bench asked the OPs to refund 93,48,000/- INR to the complainants, along with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of each payment till the date of refund except for the period for which OPs have paid assured returns to the complainants.
Case Name - Bahadur Singh & Ors. v. M/s Landmark Apartments Pvt. Ltd. (Case no. - 1411 of 2018)
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