NEW DELHI: Real estate firm DLF has been ordered to pay over Rs 4.5 lakh to a woman after being found guilty of wrongly taking around Rs 1.5 lakh from her on the basis of forged papers by a consumer forum here which said it was a clear case of "extortion" and "cheating".
The New Delhi Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by C K Chaturvedi, asked DLF New Gurgaon Homes Developers Pvt Ltd to pay Rs 4,49,720 with interest to Delhi resident Shilpi Gaur and said the case attracted "criminal liability" and "investigation". Gaur had booked an apartment in the firm's upcoming project 'New Town Height' in Gurgaon in 2008, by paying over Rs 28 lakh but after she learnt that no construction was going on at the site, she sought the refund. Though the money was refunded by the firm, it deducted Rs 1,49,720 as brokerage amount.
"...admittedly there was no construction, yet in name of false claim of construction in full swing, money was collected repeatedly (by firm) with other charges for development etc. "This is a clear case of extortion and criminal case of cheating, including to justify deduction of brokerage on falsely created documents. In fact the case attracts criminal liability and investigation.
," the forum's bench, also comprising its members S R Chaudhary and Ritu Garodia, said pti.
It said that the firm indulged in "deficiency", "cheating" and "unfair trade practices" in collecting all payments without construction, but false statements and abuse of good faith of the complainant.
"It also wrongly deducted brokerage, based on forged paper to misappropriate the money," the forum said, directing the company to return brokerage of Rs 1,49,720 with interest.
The forum also asked the company to pay a compensation of Rs three lakh for deficiency, unfair trade practices and litigation expenses to the woman.
Gaur had told the forum that she booked an apartment by paying Rs 28,31,562 in 2008.
However, later she learnt that firm was still waiting for an environment clearance and no construction was started at the site, though they collected payments in advance in the name of ongoing construction.
Later on, she sought the refund and the firm returned the money but deducted brokerage amount of Rs 1,49,720.
Thereafter, she filed a complaint with the forum and sought refund of the deducted amount with interest.
In it's reply, the company, however, submitted that Gaur had booked the flat through a broker, a claim denied by the complainant.