The complainants in the instant case were people who had booked flats in a project that was developed by the Ansal Hitech Township Ltd.
Due to inordinate delay, possession of the flats was not handed to the complainants.
The complainants filed a case before the NCDRC and sought refund and compensation.
NCDRC has passed an order in favour of the complainants and directed the Ansal Hitech Township Ltd to
return the principal amount paid by the complainants along with interest.
The grounds that were taken by the Opposite Party:-
- It was stated that the complaint is barred by limitation.
- Due to farmers protests in various land acquisition cases, the OP was unable to acquire and develop the land.
- It was argued that as per the agreement, the design plan could be changed any time due to unavoidable reasons and
the allottee would have to accept alternative arrangements.
- The OP stated that fourteen original complainants had settled the case with OP
- OP was in the process of settling the case with other complainants as well.
- The OP argued that some of the land parcels were supposed to be acquired by the Government but were not acquired.
- Court orders and farmer protests were the cause of the delay.
- Landowners who had agreed to sell their land to OP backtracked on their promise.
NCDRC Directs Ansal to Compensate Home Buyers
NCDRC opined that because the developer was unable to complete the project on time and the possession was not handed over to the complainants,
so there was a recurrent cause of action. Hence, the suit was not barred by limitation.
On the issue that the location can be changed due to unavoidable reasons, the NCDRC held that the OP did not provide
an acceptable reason for changing the location of plots so this ground was not valid.
As regards to delay because of farmers protest, a reference was made to a letter that was written by the OP to complainants
where it was stated that the project was not affected due to farmers protest.
After going through the agreements executed between the parties, the NCDRC opined that the OP could not claim that non-acquisition of small parcels of land for landowners was the cause of delay. In the opinion of the Court, the OP should have bought those parcels of lands even if they were a little expensive.
In the NCDRC opinion, the complainants cannot be made to suffer if the OP was unable to require the land because the complainants paid a large sum of money and they had already waited many years.
The complaint was disposed of by the NCDRC with the following directions:-
- If the allottees don’t want to wait for possession, then Ansal Hitech Township Ltd will refund the amount paid by them along with appropriate compensation.
- The entire principal amount should be paid back to the allottees along with 8 percent simple interest.
- Ansal Hitech Township Ltd will pay Rs 50000 as the cost to the complainants collectively.
- Payment should be made within three months.
Title: Bhrigu Kaushik & Ors vs M/S Ansal Hi-Tech Township
Case No. CONSUMER CASE NO. 1951 OF 2016
Date of Order:16.10.2020
Coram: Shri V.K Jain