Hyderabad: The Hyderabad consumer disputes redressal forum has ordered a builder to refund Rs 14 lakh that a customer had paid him, along with a penalty of Rs 60,000 for causing her mental and physical agony by refusing to register a flat in her name.
The complainant, Ms B.J. Shobha, 52, a railway employee, stated that she was persuaded by builder G. Naveen Kumar to sell her property and use the money to purchase a flat in an apartment complex that he was building at Mylargadda, Secunderabad.
She duly paid the builder Rs 14 lakh of the total cost of the flat of Rs 27 lakh. Ms Shobha said she approached a financial institution for a housing loan to pay the rest of the money. The loan was not sanctioned as the property did not have approved sanction for construction beyond two floors.
Ms Shobha alleged that despite the agreement the flat was occupied by the builder.
When she inquired about this, and the lack of building permission, he threatened her with dire consequences. She alleged that builder Naveen Kumar did not respond to her repeated appeals to to adhere to the terms of the agreement and register the flat in her favour by receiving the balance amount. Subsequently the complainant approached the consumer forum.
She said she had lost her husband, and her aged in-laws, a son and a daughter were dependent on her. She could ill-afford to lose the money. The attitude of the builder caused her mental and physical agony, Ms Shobha said.
Mr Naveen Kumar, 42, denied the allegations as “concocted stories”.
He alleged that Ms Shobha had to pay Rs 14 lakh within a month of the date of agreement and the rest within 60 days. He said that he waited for more than a year for the remaining amount. Since there was no representation, the agreement of sale was terminated and the same was intimated via a legal notice, he said.
Mr Naveen Kumar said the complainant was aware that permission had not been granted for three floors. There has been no deficiency of service or negligence on his part, he contended.
The forum noted that there was negligence and unfairness on the part of the builder as he accepted that permission was not granted for three floors and could not prove that Ms Shobha was aware of the same. The forum observed that she could not avail a loan on the property as it was not registered in her favour.
The forum directed Naveen Kumar return the Rs 14 lakh along interest at 7 per cent per annum and also Rs 50,000 as compensation and Rs 10,000 as costs.