CHENNAI: The Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chennai (South) has ordered a real estate promoter to refund the amount deducted as cancellation charges from the installment paid by a woman who had booked an apartment in a project mooted by the firm in 2008.
S Kokila from Madurai had booked a flat in a project mooted by L&T South City Projects along the Old Mahabhalipuram Road in 2008. She paid an amount of `18 lakh as first installment on various dates by 2008. However, about two-and-a-half months before the last payment, she found herself under financial duress and wrote to the promoter to cancel the booked flat and return the money paid.
Following this, the firm sent a cheque for `16.20 lakh in April 2009 after deducting `1.80 lakh (10 per cent) as cancellation charges. Kokila then sent a legal notice seeking reasons for the deduction and a copy of the terms and conditions.
In her petition before the forum, Kokila said that the act of the realty firm deducting the cancellation charges amounted to deficiency of service.
In its reply, the firm said Kokila booked the flat through Vijiyakumar, Chief Manager, Indian Overseas Bank, Anna Salai Branch. All the terms and conditions were explained to Vijayakumar and the booking form and instruction sheets were given to him which were to be filled up by the complainant. Vijiyakumar, acting on behalf of the complainant agreed to the rules and regulations of the company.
Specifically, the company said Kokila neither sent back the booking form nor did she at any point disagree to the terms and conditions.
Passing orders, a bench comprising President of the Forum V Gopal and Member L Deenadayalan said the complainant had not signed any of the agreement that the project developer produced. Therefore, such conditions not agreed to by the party formally cannot be relied upon by the company to deduct the amount.