New Delhi: Abeyant construction, delayed possession, hollow promises and helpless buyers. These seem to have become a common trait in the real estate industry in the city.
The case involving DLF portrays the helplessness of a buyer, who endured excruciating wait for getting a business space despite depositing over Rs.85 lakh and finally had his grievance redressed by National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC).
Businessman K.K. Rana had applied for office space at the proposed DLF Tower at Shivaji Marg in West Delhi.
However, construction was delayed by five years and his requests for refund were never met, forcing him to approach NCDRC.
Criticising DLF’s conduct, the NCDRC Bench comprising Justice J.M. Malik and Dr. S.M. Kantikar said: “This case portrays the story of sadness and frustration of a businessman who desired to have a business place for his own use/livelihood. It also reveals how it has become difficult to have a space in this cosmopolitan city. The main reason is that prices have gone up by leaps and bounds. It also depicts how a consumer has to tolerate the tantrums of his builder/developer.”
The forum has directed DLF Commercial Complexes Ltd. to refund within 90 days the Rs.85.94 lakh paid by Mr. Rana over five years ago along with an annual interest of 18 per cent from February 20, 2008, which comes to nearly Rs.1.76 crore. A fine of Rs.2 lakh was also imposed on the company for harassment and mental agony.
“The opposite party [DLF] is withholding that amount for the past five years without mala fide intention. An ordinary person can know the value and importance of money. This much money would have benefited him otherwise. It contends that the deposit of the entire amount of instalments be made, then it will refund the same, to the complainant. It has utilised this huge amount for the last more than five-and-a-half years. Its attempt to feather its own nest has succeeded. All these factors, clearly reveal arrogant, despotic, and coercive manner. The deficiency on its part stands proved,” it said.