A prospective house buyer who was dissatisfied with the service of the builder with whom he had booked an apartment, has been given relief by the District Consumer Redressal Forum here.

Shivaji More submitted to the Forum that he had booked an apartment in the Lok Ambar Housing Complex being developed by Lok Builders in 2001. Under the agreement, the flat was to be completed an handed over to him in 2002. He said he had paid the builder an advance of Rs. 64,900, and applied for a loan from the ICICI home Finance.

The bank asked for a No Objection Certificate (NoC) from SBI Home Finance Bank, which had business relations with Lok Builders.

However, More submitted, the builders did not provide him with the NoC, without which ICICI was not willing to sanction him the loan. He was subjected to a lot of mental harassment in the process (even suffering a brain tumour, he said), and had to ultimately forgo the loan.

He said the building was not completed in 2002 as promised, and instead, the builder sought additional amounts, over and above that specified in the agreement. He submitted that he was also dissatisfied with the quality of the construction.

More claimed a refund of the advance he had paid, with 9% interest, a refund of the registration fee of Rs. 10,606, and Rs. 1 lakh as compensation for the suffering he was subjected to, plus Rs. 20,000 as legal expenses.

The builder denied all the allegations.

The Forum, after going through the merits of the case, found that More was indeed subjected to mental harassment as his flat was not handed over to him within the agreed upon time frame. Also, he had not been provided with an NoC in time, which meant that he was put to a lot of trouble to try and secure the loan – and ultimately he did not get it. Also, asking for a sum over and above the agreed-upon rate amounted to unfair trade practices, the Forum ruled.

In its order, the Forum asked Lok Builders to refund the advance money that More had paid, 6% interest per annum from 2001, pay him a compensation of Rs. 10,000 towards the suffering he had to undrego, and Rs. 10,000 towards legal expenses.

Source: http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com


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