The apex consumer commission has directed a realtor to refund Rs 10 lakh to a homebuyer, saying the builder was "highly negligent" in completing the project.
The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) bench asked a north Delhi-based realtor Apex Buildtech Ltd to refund Rs 10 lakh along with Rs 40,000 as cost of litigation to West Delhi resident Madhu Talreja.
The NCDRC, while upholding the state commission's decision to dismiss the builder's appeal against a district forum's order, has noted that the realtor who promised to handover the possession in three years has not been able to do so even after 10 years of booking.
"It is obvious that even till date, the petitioner (builder) is not in a position to deliver the possession of the flat with clear title to the complainant. Hence, the opposite party (builder) was highly negligent in completing the project which obviously is a deficiency in service," the commission bench headed by its presiding member Justice Ajit Bharihoke said.
"The petitioner is a builder who has utilised the money of gullible consumer on the false promise that he would deliver the possession within 3 years which he has not been able to fulfill even after 10 years of booking," the commission said.
According to Talreja's complaint, she booked a residential flat in the group's housing project 'Apex Greens' at Sonipat in Haryana and deposited Rs 10 lakh with the firm.
A builder-buyer agreement between the parties was executed on October 20, 2007.
It further alleged that the agreement assured her the possession of flat within three years but the builder faulted.
The firm, however, denied that it had promised to hand over the flat within 3 years or that the construction of the project was delayed.
It also said that Talreja was at fault as she failed to make further payment of consideration amount.
However, the district forum asked it to refund Rs 10 lakh along with the cost against which the builder approached the state commission from where also he failed to gain relief.