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Consumer Lawyer: The consumer cannot be asked to take the villa after 5 years from promised possession date, and is entitled for full refund; SC.

Supreme Court of India

Justice U U Lalit and Justice Vineet Saran

The SC was considering the question whether the consumer can be asked to take the villa after 5 years from the last date of possession agreed upon- after the complaint has been filed under the Consumer Protection Act for refund of money by the Buyer?

It was held by the SC {Marvel Omega Builders Private Limited and Another versus Shrihari Gokhale and Another} that even assuming that the villa is now ready for occupation, the delay of almost five years is a crucial factor and the bargain cannot now be imposed upon the respondents / consumers. The respondents were, therefore, justified in seeking refund of the amount that they had deposited with reasonable interest on said deposited amount. It was held that the finding of the National Commission cannot therefore be said to be incorrect or unreasonable on any count. In the present case, the respondents had purchased the villa for Rupees 8.31 crores out of which they had already paid Rupees 8.14 crores to the builder by November, 2013; the possession of the villa was to be given by 31st of December 2014 by the builder. The Builder sought to give possession of the villa to the respondents during pendency of appeal before the Supreme Court by December, 2018. The Builder was however directed to refund the money by the SC - affirming the order of the National Commission. 

The Appeal of the Builder was dismissed by the Supreme Court by directing that the villa in question shall not be sold nor any third party rights can be created by the Builder till the decree in favour of the respondents is completely satisfied and so long as the decree remains to be satisfied, said villa shall be under attachment and would be subject to such orders as may be required to be passed in connection with the execution of the order of the National Commission.



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