In a significant ruling, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has ordered Raheja Developers Limited to refund the deposits made by homebuyers in the Raheja Revanta project in Gurgaon. Consumer Case No. 3335 of 2017, filed by Virender Goel and J.P. Gupta on 15. 11. 2017, challenged the cancellation of their allotment letters and sought redress for the financial losses and mental agony caused by the developer's actions. This article will delve into the details of the case, the arguments presented by both parties, and the NCDRC's decision from the order dated 18.05.2023
Raheja Developers Limited, a registered company engaged in the construction and development of group housing projects, launched the Raheja Revanta project in Sector-78, Gurgaon, in 2011. The company attracted homebuyers by promoting the project's amenities and facilities. Trusting these representations, Virender Goel and J.P. Gupta booked a flat and made substantial deposits, totaling Rs. 1,19,32,516 between 2011 and 2015.
The complainants alleged that the opposite party, Raheja Developers Limited, had raised demands for installments without attaining the stage of construction specified in the agreement. Despite the expiration of the stipulated 48-month period, followed by a grace period of six months, the construction progress was unsatisfactory. The complainants discovered that the construction of the tower had halted and that the number of floors had been increased without the buyers' consent. They claimed that the cancellation of their allotment letters was arbitrary and demanded a refund of their deposits, along with compensation for mental agony, litigation costs, and any other suitable relief.
Opposite Party's Defense:
Raheja Developers Limited, in its written reply, acknowledged the booking, allotment, and deposits made by the complainants but attributed the construction delays to force majeure reasons. The company cited the default in payment by several homebuyers, which created a financial crunch. Additionally, the presence of a high-tension electricity line passing through the project site and disputes with the contracted party further impeded progress. The company argued that the slow pace of construction was a consequence of the non-availability of basic infrastructure facilities, such as roads, sewer lines, and electricity supply, which the government authorities had failed to provide. They contended that the complainants had failed to adhere to the payment plan, resulting in the cancellation of their allotments.
After examining the arguments and evidence presented by both parties, the NCDRC ruled in favor of the homebuyers. The Commission held that the demands raised by Raheja Developers Limited were unauthorized and made without achieving the requisite stage of construction. As per the agreement's construction link payment plan, demands were to be made based on the progress of construction, which had not been met. The NCDRC also noted that the stipulated time frame for possession had lapsed, and the developer had failed to provide a reasonable explanation for the delays. Citing previous judgments, the Commission highlighted that homebuyers cannot be made to wait indefinitely for possession. Therefore, the cancellation of the allotment letters was deemed illegal.
The NCDRC directed Raheja Developers Limited to refund the entire amount deposited by the complainants, totaling Rs. 1,19,32,516 along with interest at the rate of 9% per annum, within two months from the date of the judgment.
The NCDRC's order in Consumer Case No. 3335 of 2017 represents a significant victory for homebuyers in the Raheja Revanta project. It serves as a reminder to real estate developers that they must adhere to their commitments and obligations towards homebuyers. The judgment reinforces the importance of timely construction, fulfillment of promised amenities, and transparency in financial transactions. This ruling sets a precedent and provides hope for other homebuyers who find themselves in similar predicaments.
Note: Please note that the information provided in this article about the complaint filed in the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) is for educational purposes only. The complaint number for reference is CONSUMER CASE NO. 3335 OF 2017
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