Consumer court directs Ansals to provide full refund to 90 buyers for not handing possession for over 12 yearsOctober 20, 2020
Noting that homebuyers cannot be made to wait indefinitely for possession of plots allotted to them and a settlement with a few homebuyers cannot end a class-action suit, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has directed Ansal Hi Tech Township to refund the entire principal amount to buyers, who have waited to receive possession of their homes in Greater Noida for almost 12 years.
The consumer court also directed the builder of the project Sushant Megapolis to give them compensation in the form of simple interest at the rate of 8 percent per annum from the date of each payment till the date of refund.
It also directed the builder to pay Rs 50,000 as cost of litigation to the complainants collectively and that the payment be made within three months from the date of the order.
It said that even though no specific time period for completing the development and offering possession to the allottees was indicated in the agreement, that does not entitle the builder to prolong the development work to an indefinite period.
“In such a case, the development work must necessarily be completed within a reasonable time period. As far as the development of plots is concerned, such a work does not require as much time as required for construction of group housing flats in multi-storied buildings. At best, the development work of the plots, even on a large scale, must be completed within a period of three years from the approval of the lay-out plans,” it said in its order.
The order was passed on October 16
The opposition party in the case was the developer company Uttam Steel & Associates that was selected by Government of Uttar Pradesh for development of a township namely ‘Sushant-Megapolis’ comprising of plots, flats in Greater Noida. The consortium members formed an SPV under the name Ansal Hi-Tech Township Ltd.
The detailed project report for the township was approved on February 8, 2008. The developer invited applications for allotment of plots in the proposed township and these were bought by almost 3000 buyers.
No time frame for delivering possession of the plots to the allottees was incorporated in the agreements but buyers were verbally informed that they would be handed over possession within 36 months from the execution of the agreement.
The allotments of plots were made and agreements were executed between 2008 and 2014. Even after 12 years, the township has not been developed by the builder nor has possession been offered to the buyers, homebuyers have said in their complaint.
The buyers approached NCDRC by way of a class section under section 12(1)(c) of the Consumer Protection Act seeking refund of the amount paid by them to the builder along with compensation.
A class action petition is generally filed by a group of people who have been similarly aggrieved; have been injured by the same defendant in the same way.
The builder on his part has claimed that due to protest by farmers who were dissatisfied with…