SC Asks Supertech To Refund Rs 1 Cr To Homebuyer For Delay In Possession
The Supreme Court has directed Supertech to refund Rs 1 crore to a homebuyer for the delay in giving possession.
Homebuyer Ankur Goswami bought a flat in Supertech’s Capetown project located at Sector 74 of Noida for Rs. 1.1 crore in 2012. Goswami was to get the possession of the flat in October 2013. However, there was a delay in delivery of the flat since the construction was not complete even three years after the deadline. Considering this, Goswami filed a complaint before the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission last year.
The commission ruled in Goswami's favour, and ordered the developer to refund Rs 96 lakh that was deposited by the buyer at the time of purchase, along with interest at the rate of 10 per cent. It rejected the contention of the company which had taken the defence that Goswami had not deposited the amount on time and allowed his plea.
“Since the company has not cancelled the allotment on account of the delay in making payment, the company cannot now deny a refund of the amount paid to it by the complainant on the account of the aforesaid alleged delay," the commission said.
The developer then approached the SC, challenging the NCDRC’s verdict. Counsel for the Supertech argued that the delay in the project was due to unforeseen reasons, and the company was committed to complete the project as soon as possible. He pleaded that the SC set aside the earlier order.
The SC, however, refused to accept these arguments, and held that there was a violation of contract as the company promised to deliver the flats in 2013. The SC observed that there was an inordinate delay of almost four years.
The Bench comprising Justice A K Goel and U U Lalit did not accept the contention of the developer that it could not complete the project on time as the construction was stayed because of the order from the National Green Tribunal, and held that the buyer should not suffer because of the delay. The Bench also said that as the developer was required to fulfill his promise to hand over the possession on time and should have been prepared for all eventualities.
The SC Bench also rejected the plea to waive interest on the outstanding amount. It said thatr a 10 per cent interest is quite less in comparison to 24 per cent interest which is charged by developers from homebuyers in case of a default.
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