HYDERABAD: The Hyderabad III District Consumer Forum here has directed a private construction firm to pay a sum of Rs 2 lakh as compensation to a consumer for failing to hand over the constructed building in the stipulated time.
The customer, K Jagga Rao, purchased a plot measuring 206 sq. yards in the layout titled ‘Emerald Parle’ at Korremala village in Ghatkesar mandal in Ranga Reddy district on August 21, 2006 under a registered sale deed and entered into a builders agreement with Modi Shelters Pvt Ltd for construction of a super deluxe housefor a total value of Rs 28,50,000.
The company was required to complete construction of the house with all amenities and hand over the possession within 24 months from August 22, 2006 with a grace period of six months. Rao alleged that Modi Shelters delayed completion of the construction and handed over the possession to him only on April 30, 2011. He also alleged that the construction company failed to build as per the specifications agreed upon.
It was also submitted that Rao had been paying the electricity charges, property tax, technical charges, VAT and service tax since April 2011 along with maintenance charges of Rs 2,000 per month from April 2011 to September 2011. Vexed with the attitude of the construction firm, Rao issued a legal notice on March 24, 2012 claiming a sum of Rs 20,000 towards the loss of the article stolen and Rs 4 lakh towards the compensation for the mental agony caused to him. He received a reply from the company, denying his allegations and disowning their liability. Left with no option, Rao approached the forum for compensation.
Modi Shelters, in their written submission, contended that Rao had failed to pay maintenance charges subsequent to September 2011 and was, therefore, not entitled to any services offered by them. They denied that they had agreed to provide drinking water, service wire metre and loft tank in the kitchen. If Rao was willing to pay the additional charges, then they would provide the said facilities. They further contended that the security provided by them was for the entire venture but not for each and every independent house. Therefore, it was for Rao to ensure the security of his house and cannot allege deficiency in service for the theft that had occurred at his residence.
The forum observed that the builder handed over possession of the constructed house four years and six months after entering into the agreement. “When possession of the completed house was not handed over by the agreed date, it amounts to deficiency in service by the builder and the complainant is entitled to a reasonable compensation,” the forum said. It further said that once the house was physically handed over, it was the responsibility of the complainant to ensure the security of his house and that he cannot seek compensation for the loss of articles.
The forum, comprising its president Y.Chandrasekhara Reddy and members D Mahesh Kumar and C Nirmala, passed an order in favour of Jagga Rao, holding that there was deficiency of service on the part of the builder.
As per an agreement signed in 2006, Modi Shelters was to build a super deluxe house on a site bought by one Jagga Rao in Ghatkesar mandal within 2 years but the builder handed over the possession in 2011.