PUNE: The state consumer disputes redressal commission has ordered a city-based builder to either hand over a 640 sq ft flat in a redevelopment project in Budhwar Peth or pay Rs 25.86 lakh compensation to a retired government official within 90 days.
A two-member bench of the commission comprising judicial member Shashikant A Kulkarni and member Narendra Kawde on Friday also directed builder Jalada Promoters to pay interest at 9% p.a. from September 23, 2013, when complaint was made, till realisation, and Rs 25,000 costs to the complainant.
Shridhar Hari Kuwalekar (82), a former official from the department of weights and measures, had filed the complaint on the grounds that the builder did not deliver possession of the flat despite repeated reminders after the project was completed.
"The commission held that the builder was liable for deficient service considering that he issued an allotment letter to the complainant in April 1998, but did not hand over the possession of the flat," Kuwalekar's lawyer Santosh Patil said on Saturday.
The case relates to a 296 sq mtrs 'Kuwalekar Wada' property in Budhwar Peth which is owned by Kuwalekar and members of his joint family. On March 1, 1995, Kuwalekar and his family members executed an agreement with Jalada Promoters, a proprietorship firm held by A L Barve of Tulshibaghwale colony in Sahakarnagar, for development of the property. A day after this agreement, the Kuwalekars also issued a no-objection certificate to the builder to facilitate further works.
The agreement mandated the builder to provide a 640 sq ft flat to Kuwalekar in the ground-plus-three storeyed redeveloped structure. On April 29, 1998, the builder also issued an allotment letter to Kuwalekar and a deed of declaration naming the association of flat owners' as 'Harida apartments' was also executed on June 16, 2006. However, the promised delivery of possession of the flat to Kuwalekar did not happen. This prompted Kuwalekar to file the complaint seeking either possession of the flat or compensation in terms of prevailing market value of the flat.
The builder preferred not to be represented by any lawyer and only submitted a written statement contesting Kuwalekar's claim on the grounds that property was jointly held by Kuwalekar and other members of the family and hence his individual complaint need not be entertained by the commission. The builder also pointed out that he had to incur heavy expenses on getting a revised plan sanctioned from the PMC as there were issues of access to the commercial property in the redeveloped project and regularisation of certain illegal structures in the old property.
The commission, however, ruled that the contentions raised by the complainant were supported by the development agreement between the two parties in relation to handing over the possession of the flat. The alternative solution of paying Rs 25.86 lakh compensation, in case of difficulty to hand over the flat, was worked out on the basis of the ready recknor price approved by the sub-registrar's office.