Consumer forum slaps Rs 1.10 lakh fine on Nagpur’s Jham Builders
In yet another setback to the Jham Builders and Developers, which allegedly duped hundreds of gullible home buyers, the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum here, has slapped Rs1.10 lakh fine on its director Hemant Jham for failure to hand over a flat booked by a complainant.
A bench comprising President Sanjay Patil and members — Nitin Gharde and Chandrika Bais — also directed Jham to return Rs2.81 lakh deposited by complainant, Vasant Nagar resident Archana Dahiwade, with 10% interest from December 31, 2013. Out of total fine, Rs1 lakh are towards mental and physical harassment and Rs10,000 towards litigation costs.
While delivering an ex-parte judgment, as Jham failed to either reply to its notices or appear before the forum, the judges ruled that he indulged into “unfair trade practices” and “deficiency in services”, as per Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986
According to the complainant, she had booked a flat by paying Rs51,000 to Jham Builders and Developers office at Kanhaiya City, near Somalwada on Wardha Road in October 2012. The flat scheme was to come up at Mouza Waghdhara in Hingna town.
She deposited more money in three instalments of Rs1,30,000, Rs60,000, and Rs40,000, on April 24, November 15 and December 31, 2013 respectively. She had planned to take a home loan from the bank for paying rest of the amount, but on June 20, 2017 she came to know that the builder had duped hundreds of customers like her. On further enquiry, she realized that Jham didn’t start any construction activity on the land at Mouza Waghdhara, where she was promised a flat.
An aggrieved Dahiwade then lodged a complaint before the consumer forum demanding directives to the builder to refund her amount with 18% interest and Rs2 lakh compensation towards mental and physical harassment.
Jham, however, preferred to skip the forum’s hearing, despite receiving the registered notice issued by it. He also failed to present any clarification before the judges. Consequently, the forum proceeded the case ex-parte and came to the conclusion that the complainant had proved her charges made against the builder by producing receipts of payments she made.
While partly allowing Dahiwade’s complaint, the judges told the builder to complete formalities within a month.
Last year in June, the city police’s property cell has seized 30 acres land, worth around 40 crore, owned by Jham Builders and Developers at Waghdhara, after receiving complaints from over 400 investors like Dahiwade, who were allegedly defrauded by the builder.