Consumer forum directs builder to pay over Rs 20L to couple whose flat in Kerala was demolished on SC orders

A district consumer forum here has directed a private builder, which had built and sold flats at Maradu here, to pay over Rs 20 lakh to a couple to whom the realty firm had sold a flat in that area which was later demolished on orders of the Supreme Court.

The Ernakulam District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission directed the Holy Faith Builders and Developers to refund over Rs 17 lakh to the couple as balance consideration of the flat and also Rs five lakh as compensation for the deficient service and unfair trade practice on the part of the realty firm.

The Commission also directed the firm to pay Rs 25,000 to the complainant couple towards the cost of the litigation.

The Commission said that the apex court had found that the apartment complex constructed by the builder was in violation of the law.

“This unequivocally establishes that the first opposite party’s (builder) actions amount to a deficiency in service and unfair trade practices,” it held.

The consumer forum further held that the firm “inadequately performed the service as contracted with the complainants and hence, there is a deficiency in service, negligence, and failure on the part of the first opposite party (builder) in failing to provide the complainants the desired service which in turn has caused mental agony and hardship, and financial loss, to the complainants”.

The complainants, a retired Naval officer and his wife, had bought a flat from the firm by availing a loan and claimed that they were given false assurances by the builder regarding the legality and approvals for the apartment complex constructed by it.

The Supreme Court had in 2019 directed the Kerala government to demolish the apartment complexes in Maradu that were built in violation of the coastal zone regulations.

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