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By Fiona Mehta

 

In the matter of Vikas Mittal vs. DLF Universal Limited & Anr. (Consumer case no. 424 of 2020) before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission New Delhi, under Section 21(a) (i) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 seeking delay compensation @12% per annum for delay in delivery of possession of the Apartment.

Facts: The Complainant booked an Apartment in the Project of the Opposite Party “DLF Capital Greens” situated at Shivaji Marg, New Delhi. The Complainant paid Rs. 7,50,000/- as the booking amount as per application form dated 29.09.2009 and thereafter he was allotted Unit- CGM-074, 7 floor, Block M vide allotment letter dated 05.10.2009. The Opposite Party No. 1, DLF Universal Limited (hereinafter referred to as the OP-1) and the Complainant executed an Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 27.10.2010 wherein the total consideration of the Unit was mentioned as Rs.1,05,26,250/-. As per clause 11(a) of the Agreement the Unit was to be delivered within 36 months from the date of Application Form i.e. by 29.09.2012.

The Complainant submitted that after collecting substantial amount, OP-1 vide letter dated 19.07.2012 extended the time period by 16 months and consequently clause 11(a) of the Agreement was revised from 36 months to 52 months. Therefore, the revised proposed date of possession become 29.01.2014. However, possession was not offered even on the revised proposed date of possession. The Complainant further stated that OP-1 also gave him option to exit the project and claim refund with interest but he chose to continue.

The Complainant stated that in response to letter dated 29.06.2017 of OP-2 the Complainant vide e-mail dated 15.07.2017 sought clarifications in order to pay the balance dues to take possession. However, no response was received from OP-2. Thereafter the Complainant visited the office of Opposite Parties and deposited 10% of the balance amount. The Complainant further stated that Vide e-mail dated 01.12.2017, OP-2 admitted to delay in handing over the possession and stated that the possession could only be issued post the receipt of the clearance of account. The OP-2 vide e-mail dated 07.12.2017 informed the Complainant that the approval for the discount is in place and the possession letter for the Unit has also been issued. However, when the Complainant did not receive the possession letter, he requested Opposite Parties to share the Possession letter. The Opposite Parties vide email dated 15.12.2017 apologized for its inability to issue the possession letter and stated that the same is subject to submission of requisite documents and also stated that the physical possession of the Unit could be taken on 27.01.2018.

Judgement: They found that there is no doubt to the fact that there has been an unreasonable delay in construction as the Unit which was not completed even as per the revised date of possession in 29.01.2014. The Opposite Parties issued possession letter dated 07.12.2017 after obtaining the Occupancy Certificate. There has been definitely an inordinate delay of more than 3 years from the revised date of possession for obtaining the Occupancy Certificate and offering possession for which the Opposite Parties have not given any reasonable justification. The Occupation Certificate was only received in 2017. The Opposite Party has not given any reasonable justification for this delay also. Therefore, the Complainant is entitled for a fair and reasonable delay compensation.

The Opposite Parties/builder is directed to pay delay compensation @6% per annum to the Complainant on the amount deposited by him from the revised date of possession i.e. 29.09.2014 till 09.05.2019 i.e. the date when the possession letter of the Unit was received by the Complainant within a period of six weeks from this Order. Any delay beyond this will attract an interest of 9% per annum.