MUMBAI: Over a decade after a Malad resident was cheated of a 620 sq ft flat booked in Marol, the state consumer commission has directed the builder to pay him a compensation of Rs 25.25 lakh.
Mangesh Koltharkar had filed the complaint before the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission against G T Builders in 2002. However, after documents pertaining to the proceedings were ravaged by a white ant infestation, both parties were given time to reconstruct and reorganize the file leading to the delay.
The commission said the government ready reckoner for stamp duty shows that the land cost per sq ft built-up area is Rs10,191 in the same area. It pointed out that since the complainant had paid Rs 3.51 lakh, which is 37% of the total flat price then, he was entitled to receive Rs 23.37 lakh from the developer. The remaining compensation was towards money spent on travel, mental agony, harassment and costs of the complaint, the commission said. The flat was booked for an agreed price of Rs 9.26 lakh in 1999. Koltharkar told the commission that the builder kept on promising to give possession from time to time. The builder later agreed to hand over a smaller flat measuring 360 sq ft on a leave-and-licence basis for 11 months. Koltharkar alleged that after completion of the building, the builder failed to give out the flat, forcing him to file a police complaint and send a legal notice. The builder agreed to deliver a smaller flat if the complainant paid the balance amount. On January 25, 2002, Koltharkar sent the builder a legal notice and demanded the amount be paid with interest. Alleging that he suffered financial loss and mental harassment, Koltharkar also sought a compensation of Rs 54,000 for loss on account of travelling expenses and Rs one lakh for enduring physical hardship.
In the commission he relied on receipts of payment, copies of notices and replies, copies of complaints made to various departments for non-execution of mandatory agreement under the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act and copies of cheques issued to the builder.