The incidents of hoodwinking of the consumer by the builders are not the new story at all. The most common example can be the term called “Super Built-Up Area” mentioned in the “Agreement for Sale” which is a complete eyewash of the consumer. In most of the cases the matter never reaches to the courts and the culprits manage to get away with their deeds. But here the case is completely different. According to the sources, a consumer dispute arose out of the nondelivery of agreed amenities to the flat owners, the Dispute Redressal Forum has asked one of the prominent builders from south Goa to pay rupees 4 lakh to the consumer for defaulting in building a swimming pool in the complex.
According to the sources, The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, South Goa, has passed orders in two separate cases directing a builder to execute deeds of sale for apartments he sold in 2010 and 2011 in Vasco and pay compensation for not building a swimming pool in the complex as agreed. The name of the builder is revealed as Amit Prabhu, proprietor of Prabhu Real Estate. The consumer court has asked Mr. Prabhu to pay Rs. 2 lakh along with 10% interest from the date of filing of consumer complaint till its realization to each of the parties who brought the flats in the said project towards the denial of the amenities of swimming pool.
The complaints were filed by the apartment owners in 2013 which was disposed of by the court last month. besides the above amount, the court had also asked the builder to pay compensation of Rs. 50,000 to each to the complainants towards mental agony for not providing all the amenities, provide a children’s park in Sunset Lagoon and make arrangements to drain out the rainwater which gets accumulated near the complex.
According to the sources, the complainant Ravi Mishra booked a double bedroom flat for Rs 25 lakh and Suresh Karapurkar a triple bedroom flat for Rs 29 lakh which was inclusive of fittings, fixtures in the flat and common amenities like swimming pool, children’s park and the proportionate area in the property beneath. Mishra paid the Rs 25 lakh and in different stages and stated that in order to obtain the possession of the flat paid the additional amount of Rs 1.10 lakh towards maintenance charges and also forced to deposit a sum of Rs 50,000 and Rs 12,000.
According to Mishra’s complaint in Consumer forum, the had builder promised them of providing the amenities and facilities such as, swimming pool, sunset lagoon, and children’s park but he defaulted in doing the same which amounted into a deficiency in service and unfair trade practice. Meanwhile, the builder had told a different story to the forum. According to Mr. Prabhu, the brochure supplied to the complainant is not binding on him as it doesn’t form part of the contract. He stated that he had informed the complainant that it was not possible to construct the swimming pool as the customers were not interested in making additional payments for the swimming pool.
The forum in its order stated that since the opposite party received the full and final payment of Rs 25 lakh towards the sale of the flat, “There are no reasons for the opposite party to deny the execution of the sale deed in favor of the complainant”. Where the matter of the swimming pool is concerned, the forum stated there “there is nothing on record to prove as to what prevented him not to construct the swimming pool in spite of taking a sum of Rs 25,00,000/- in the year 2010 for a flat from the complainant.
The above judgment may come as the landmark for many consumers who have been fleeced by the builders by way of charging the premium amount and not providing the promised amenities in their complex. It is quite possible that providing many of the luxurious amenities is not possible but in that case making the false promises to sell the apartments is not the fair trade practice. please leave your comments and suggestions here.