New Delhi, June 1: A flat buyer will get Rs 52 lakh as cost from a builder in Kochi, Kerala, for not handing over on schedule the possession of a flat that the man had booked and had paid Rs.71 lakh as its price.
The decks were cleared for Jayan to get Rs.52 lakh as the Supreme Court's vacation bench of Justice Prafulla C. Pant and Justice Amitava Roy dismissed the builder's plea against the National Consumer Dispute Redressal Commission's order directing him to pay a punitive cost of Rs.52 lakh at the rate of 12 percent per annum from March 2009.
The court dismissed the builder's plea, observing that it was just interest on the amount the buyer paid for the flat he has not got till date.
Senior counsel Abhishek Manu Singhvi, appearing for the petitioner builder, argued that the NCDRC awarding Rs.52 lakh amounted to rewriting the terms of the contract, which according to the earlier verdict of the apex court was not permissible.
Singhvi said the NCDRC had no jurisdiction to pass such an order and the cost imposed was 74 percent of the total cost of the flat coupled with other penalties.
He said the builder was willing to hand over possession of the flat.
The unimpressed court declined to accept any of the pleas and dismissed the petition by the builder.
In another matter, where the flat owner has not been handed over possession, the court observed: "You take money from the flat buyer. They invest their hard-earned money. You don't give them flat and they suffer."