NCDRC directs DLF’s subsidiary to pay compensation for delay in project delivery
A builder can’t hide behind the excuses of not getting approvals from authorities, hurdles in land acquisition or any other difficulty, for the delay in delivery of flats to homebuyers, the apex consumer commission has ordered.
While directing a subsidiary of real estate major DLF to hand over houses to 16 flat buyers in one of its projects in Panchkula, Haryana, a two-member bench of National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) comprising Dinesh Singh and Dr S M Kantikar has directed the company to pay compensation of Rs 1 lakh per annum for delay and interest (home loan interest rate by banks) on the payment the buyers have already made to the builder, which will be applicable from February 2014. The builder had assured to hand over the flats by the “promised date”.
It has also directed the builder to complete the registration of sale-deeds and asked homebuyers to pay for expenses of the registration.
According to the order, which will have larger implications across the country, DLF Homes Punchkula Pvt Ltd has been directed to give the details of structural drawings and plans relating to construction, electrical, plumbing and sanitation works to the flat buyer so that he/she does not have to depend on the builder in case of any need for maintenance or repair.
The builder has been asked to pay Rs 1 lakh each to the buyers for the cost of litigation. The bench observed that the builder was responsible for deficiency in service and for unfair trade practice.
The NCDRC has directed DLF to deposit Rs 25,000 in each case in the Consumer Legal Aid Account of the state commission for its unfair trade practice.
“The issue involved is subjudice and we are taking the legal opinion for further recourse,” a DLF spokesperson said.
The bench set four weeks for compliance. The NCDRC order came while hearing an appeal by DLF challenging the decision of Haryana state consumer commission.
One D S Dhanda had booked a flat in March 2010 and the builder had signed an agreement with Dhanda in February 2011 to deliver the flat in 2013. But the deadline was extended to February 2014 due to a Supreme Court order.
The bench also said cost and time overruns are builder’s responsibility and not of the consumer.