The State Consumer District Redressal Commission (SCDRC) has ordered a company to give seven different people the respective flats they booked by executing the agreement after receiving the balance payment or to refund the amount each had deposited for their flats along with 12 per cent interest within six months.
The SCDRC has also asked that each of the buyers be given Rs 1 lakh as compensation for mental agony caused and if the compensation is not paid within 30 days, an interest of 12 per cent will have to be paid on that amount as well. The commission had to serve notice through newspaper publication before deciding to move ex-parte on the seven cases.
The seven orders were passed by SCDRC president justice SP Tavade and ST Barne – judicial member of the SCDRC – on August 24, 2022. The order was passed against complaints raised by Sanjeev Kumar, Neha Kalgaonkar, Rakesh Kumar, Rukmini More, Shikha Bhattacharya, Jitendra Sinha, and Jayprakash Shetty against Crystal Homecon Pvt Ltd. The complainants are residents of the Mumbai metropolitan region.
The seven buyers, at different times, had booked a flat in ‘Virar Nagri’ – a project promoted by the company in Kofrad Village (Palghar district). Each had booked a flat measuring between 325 sq ft and 490 sq ft on different floors. Each flat’s total consideration was between Rs 16-17 lakh. At the time of booking, the buyers had paid between Rs 3-3.10 lakh and were issued a letter of allotment at different periods in 2015.
After some time when the buyers visited the spot, they realised that the company did not have the proper rights. A criminal complaint was filed by them against one of the directors in Arnala Sagari police station which was subsequently transferred to the Economic Offences Wing, Palghar. The SCDRC order states that one of the directors approached the sessions court for getting anticipatory bail but it was rejected. Thereafter, he approached the High Court (HC) for the same and accepted the liability, agreeing to clear the dues of all the flat buyers. However, despite the assurance, Crystal Homecon failed to clear the dues of the complainants and also failed to hand over possession of the respective flats.
When the complaint was filed, the SCDRC issued a notice but the same could not be served. Ultimately, Crystal Homecon was served notice through a newspaper publication. As no one appeared and contested for opponents, by passing an order in September 2021, the commission decided to proceed ex-parte and gave the final orders.