A circuit bench of the state consumer disputes redressal commission here has held that a registered agreement for a flat cannot be terminated/cancelled by the builder only through a legal notice to the buyer.
In a recent order, the bench comprising judicial member P B Joshi and member S K Kakade set aside a March 19, 2015, ruling by the Pune district consumer court, which had directed the Shakarnagar-based Jayati Constructions to refund Rs 2.4 lakh (the advance) to Parvati resident Raju A Shelar and his wife, Rupali, against a flat they had booked for Rs12 lakh in January 2011.
The bench directed the firm to hand over possession of the flat to the couple within a month of their paying the remainder of Rs9.6 lakh, along with an annual interest of 18% from February 1, 2012, when the PMC issued the occupancy certificate to the firm. The interest component the couple must now pay comes to just over Rs 11 lakh.
The couple argued that the firm unilaterally informed them about the cancellation, despite their willingness to pay the remainder. They argued that they never prayed for a refund, but sought possession of the flat as the registered agreement was not cancelled by way of a legal process.
The state commission upheld this argument by observing that the firm took no steps to cancel/terminate the agreement as required by law and hence, the agreement subsists. However, it held that since the prayer was for handing over possession of the flat and that the firm had issued demand notices to the Shelars, the couple must pay an annual interest of 18% on the remainder.
The Shelars’ lawyer Dnyanaraj Sant said: “We undertook to pay interest on the remainder as accepting a refund would have meant searching for a new flat at the prevailing price.”