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Veena Gupta v/s DLF Universal Limited, Gurgaon & Another


    Consumer Case No. 786 of 2018

    Decided On, 04 October 2021

    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC

    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R.K. AGRAWAL
    By, PRESIDENT

    For the Complainant: Ajay Kohli, ShribaliKajaria, Advocates. For the Opposite Parties: Pravin Bahadur, Aditya Singh, SnehilSrivastava, Advocates.



Judgment Text

R.K. Agrawal, J., President

1. The present Consumer Complaint has been filed by the Complainant under Section 21(a)(i) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (for short “the Act”) against the Opposite Party, M/s. DLF Universal Limited (hereinafter to be referred to as “the Developer) seeking vacant physical possession of the booked Apartment and compensation on account of delay in handing over the possession.

2. It has been, inter alia, averred in the Complaint that in the year 2010, the Developer launched a Group Housing Project, namely, “DLF Capital Greens”,to be constructed on a land admeasuring approximately 31.15 acres situated at DLF Capital Greens – Phase III at 15, ShivajiMarg, New Delhi-110015.

3. Swayed with the impressive publicity by the Developer in the Media and the assurances given by them, the Complainant booked an Apartment in the above said Project of the Developer on 30thNovember, 2010 and paid the registration/booking amount of Rs.15,38,625/-. The total sale consideration of the Apartment was Rs.3,96,45,000/-.Vide Allotment Letter dated 02.12.2010, the Complainant was allotted Apartment No. Y011, 1st Floor, Unit No.1 admeasuring Super Area of 2885 Sq. Ft. along with Parking Nos. PY2041/PY/2042/PY/2043. The Apartment Buyer’s Agreement (hereinafter to be referred to as the “Agreement”) was executed between the parties on 20.05.2011. In terms of Clause 11(a) of the Agreement the Developer was under an obligation to complete the construction of the said Apartment within a period of 36 (thirty six) months from the date of Application unless there shall be delay or failure due to Force Majeure conditions and reasons specified in Clause meaning thereby the Construction was completed on or before 30.11.2013.

4. Vide letter dated 01.03.2013, the Developer informed the Complainant that due to some Force Majeure reasons there will be delay in obtaining approvals from the Competent Authorities. Further by letter dated 16.04.2014, the Complainant was informed that the Developer has engaged Mr.Hafeez Contractor as the Architect, M/s. Turner International as the Project Management Consultant and M/s. Larsen and Toubro in executing the Project. By the said letter, the Complainant was also informed that the compensation for delay in construction will be paid as per the terms and conditions of the Agreement and will be adjusted against the final sale consideration at the time of final demand. On 11.09.2014, the Complainant was informed by the Developer that due to an unfortunate incident at the Construction Side on 17th May, 2014, the Delhi Government’s Labour Department has issued a Prohibitory Order till the Safety Order and also insured that the Construction shall be completed as per the revised Schedule given by M/s Larsen and Tourbro and M/s Turner International. On 13.02.2016, Complainant was informed that a stop work notice has been issued by the Labour Department and there is delay in grant of necessary approvals. Vide final demand notice dated 18.04.2016, the Developer demanded a sum of Rs.31,69,043.32/- towards instalment, service tax and interest on delayed payment which was strongly objected by the Complainant vide letter dated 12.07.2016. However, the said payment was made under protest.

5. Vide letter dated 28.06.2017, the Developer informed the Complainant that they have increased the super area of flat by 38% and they also offered possession stating that the Developer has received the Certificate for Occupation and use from the North Delhi Municipal Corporation for the Tower Y DLF Capital Greens. According to the Complainant, the Super Area has been increased without any increase in Carpet Area and without her consent. The Developer has arbitrarily increased the total Sale Consideration from Rs.3,96,45,000/- to Rs.5,89,62,766.91/- which according to the Complainant is highly unjust and illegal. Further, the Complainant had sent several emails to the Developer to know the exact status of Occupation Certificate for Tower Y, however did not receive any reply. On 06.12.2017, under the RTI application, the Complainant came to know that no Completion/Occupation Certificate has been issued for Y Block for the Project DLC Capital Green. It is averred by the Complainant that the Project in question has not yet been completed by the Developer and they have failed to complete the construction and hand over the possession of the booked Apartment within the stipulated time despite receiving the payment of Rs.3,92,69,023.50/- i.e. almost 95% of the total Sale Consideration. It is stated by her that the terms of the Agreement are unfair, one sided and abuse of dominant position of the Developer which amounts to Unfair Trade Practice adopted by them. It is also stated by the Complainant that the Developer has charged high rate interest @ 18% quarterly for the delay in making the payment of the instalments which is in contravention of Clause 39(a) of the Agreement. Hence, alleging deficiency in service, the Complainant filed the present complaint with the following prayers:-

(i) direct the Opposite Parties to pay to Complainant an amount of Rs.4,99,18,812/- (calculated till 31.03.2017 based on 18% p.a. compounded yearly). The calculation sheet is mentioned in the complaint. This amount also includes a compensation of Rs.10,00,000/- claimed for mental agony and harassment and this amount should be revised on pro rata basis till award by the Opposite Party;

(ii) direct the Opposite Parties to deliver the vacant physical possession of the said Apartment to the Complainant without affecting her right to get the aforesaid claim against the Opposite parties;

(iii) direct the Opposite Parties to not to demand for increased area for increased 38% super area;

(iv) direct the opposite party not to claim any further amount in respect of the said Apartment;

(v) awardRs.50,000/- as cost of litigation to the Complainant;

6. Upon notice, the Developer contested the Complaint raising the preliminary objection that the Complainant is not a “Consumer” as defined u/s 2 (1) (d) of the Act. As admitted in the Complaint, the Complainant have two permanent places of residence i.e. H3/11, Model Town, New Delhi-110009 and D-28, Model Town, New Delhi-110009 and as such Apartment was booked in the Project only for investment and earning speculative gains. The issue involved in the present case, relates to the interpretation and implementation of the terms of the Agreement which can be only decided by a Civil Court. This Commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the Complaint owing to existence of Arbitration Clause 55 in the Agreement.

7. On merits, it is pleaded that the Complainant was neither forced nor was influenced by the Developer to purchase the said Apartment and the Agreement was voluntarily and willing signed by her. It is a trite law that the terms of Agreement are binding between the parties. As per Clause 1.5 of the Agreement, the approval for the Layout Plan and Building were tentative and it was informed to the Complainant at the time of signing the Agreement. The Project has been delayed due to Force Majeure reasons which have been defined in Clause 11 of the Agreement. The delay, if any, in completion of Project was due to delay in grant of necessary approvals by the Competent Authorities and the Developer cannot be made liable for the delayed acts of the Competent Authorities. Further, a Prohibitory Order was issued by the Delhi Government’s Labour Department due to an unfortunate incident and the Construction Work was stopped on the site. The Complainant has been duly informed about the status of the construction work from time to time. The Complainant was also granted rebate for early payment and as a Goodwill gesture she was also offered additional discount @5.5.% or 4.5% in the event of balance due is paid within the period and subject to the conditions of Goodwill Package. Complainant was made an offer to exist and she was entitled for refund with interest @9% p.a. but she did not exercise the said offer. Despite all the hindrances/problems and issues faced during the construction of the Project, the Occupation Certificate was received on 05.04.2017 and the possession of the Apartment was offered to the Complainant on 28.06.2017. The Occupation Certificate received by the Opposite Party was phase-wise and not specific to individual Towers. The Occupation Certificate has been received for Phase III of the Project on 05.04.2017 wherein Tower Y is located. The Developer has not applied separately for Occupation Certificate for Tower Y. The Complainant has failed to complete the formalities as conveyed vide letter dated 28.06.2017 and has not taken possession of the said Apartment. A reminder was also sent to her on 05.07.2018 but she did not remit the outstanding payment as demanded vide letter dated 28.06.2017 and take the possession. It is further denied that there was increase in the Super Area without any increase in the Carpet Area. The increase in the Super Area was due to increase in common area and in compliance of directions of the Competent Authorities. The Clause 14 (i) of the Application Form and Clauses 1.5, 1.7 and 10 of the Agreement clearly stipulated that the Super Area is tentative and subject to change. The Complainant has also failed to strictly adhere to the payment schedule and has defaulted in payment of instalments due on 29.06.13, 31.03.2014 and 12.03.2016. The delayed interest charged on the Complainant is totally in terms of Agreement. It is specifically pleaded that the Complainant is not entitled for any compensation as the delay in completion of the Project was due to Force Majeure reasons.

8. All other averments made in the Complaint have been specifically denied by the Developer and prayed dismissal of the Complaint with exemplary costs. The Complainant filed her Rejoinder denying all the rival contentions raised by the Developer in its Reply and reiterating the averments made in the Complaint.

9. I have heard the Learned Counsel for the parties at some length and also perused the material available on record as well as the judgments relied upon by the parties.

10. In brief, it is the case of the Complainant that he had paid about 95% of the total sales consideration of the allotted Apartment No. Y011, Ist Floor, Unit NO.1situated at 15, ShivajiMarg, New Delhi to the Developer. As per Clause 11(a) of the Agreement, the possession of the Apartment was to be delivered to the Complainant within 36 months from the date of booking Application dated 30.11.2010 that means by 29thNovember, 2013. However, the Developer has miserably failed to hand over the possession within the stipulated time and hence she is entitled for reasonable compensation.

11. With regard to the preliminary objection taken by the Developer that due to existence of Arbitration Clause in the Agreement, this Commission has no jurisdiction to entertain the Complaint, the Hon'ble Supreme Court in M/S Emaar MGF Land Limited vsAftab Singh - I (2019) CPJ 5 (SC), has laid down the law that the Arbitration Clause in the Agreement does not bar the jurisdiction of the Consumer Fora to entertain the Complaint.

12. The contention of the Learned Counsel for the Developer that the Complainant is not a ‘Consumer’ as the Complainant has booked the Apartment for earning profits and for investment purpose, is completely unsustainable in the light of the judgement of this Commission in KavitaAhuja vs. Shipra Estates I (2016) CPJ 31, in which the principle laid down is that the onus of establishing that the Complainant was dealing in real estate i.e. in the purchase and sale of plots/flats in his normal course of business to earn profits, shifts to the Opposite Party, which in the instant case they had failed to discharge by filing any documentary evidence to establish their case. Therefore I am of the considered view that the Complainant is a ‘Consumer’ as defined under Section 2 (1)(d) of the Act.

13. In support of Complainant’s case, Learned Counsel appearing for the Complainant has placed reliance on the decision rendered by a Coordinate Bench of this Commission in Consumer Complaint No. 351 of 2015 (Capital Greens Flat Buyer AssociationVs. DLF Universal Limited) and connected mattersdecided on 3rd January, 2020,which relates to the same Project, i.e. “DLF Capital Greens” situated at ShivajiMarg, Moti Nagar, New Delhi. I find that the defence taken by the Developer in the present Complaint is more or less similar to that taken in the abovesaid Consumer Complaints. While dealing with the similar reasons taken by the Developer for delay in handing over the possession in the afore referred Complaints, the Coordinate Bench of this Commission has observed as under:-

“12. The complaints have been resisted by the developer on several grounds. It has been inter-alia stated in the written version filed by the developer that there has been no deficiency on its part in rendering services to the allotteesand they have not indulged into any unfair trade practice or restrictive trade practice. It is further stated in the reply filed by the developer that at the time of booking itself, the allottees were informed that the plans had not yet been sanctioned and the schedule for delivering possession of the apartments was tentative.

As regards early payment rebate and timely payment rebate, it is submitted that early payment rebate has been given to all the allotteeswho made early payment, whereas timely payment rebate which was to be given as an adjustment, has been given to all the allottees who were not in default at the time possession was offered.

As regards the delay in offering possession, it is stated that the developer had applied for the approval of the building plan of Phase-I in May 2009 but the approval was granted in March 2010, though usually it takes three to six months to grant such an approval. It is alleged that the building plans for Phase-II could not be filed earlier since it took seven months for revision of the lay out plan and the said approval came only in August 2011 despite having been applied in August 2010. As regards Phase-III, it is stated that the approval came in February 2013, though it was applied in January 2011. It is also submitted that in view of the aforesaid delays, the allottees of Phase-II & Phase-III were given option of exiting from the project, by taking refund with 9% interest.

It is also stated that Director of Industrial Safety and Health (Labour Department) of Government of NCT had prohibited construction at the site of this project on 26.05.2014, on account of an unfortunate accident involving injury to a worker. The construction work was permitted to be resumed only on 16.09.2014 in respect of 5 towers w.e.f. 06.01.2015 in respect of another five towers, w.e.f. 30.01.2015 in respect of yet another 5 towers, and w.e.f. 30.07.2015 in respect of all the 23 towers. The aforesaid Prohibitory order, according to the developer, resulted in delaying the construction. It is also submitted that though the allottees were given escalation free allotments, they are entitled to compensation @ Rs.10 per sq. feet of super area in terms of clause 14 of the agreements though it would be payable to those allottees who had made timely payment of the installments.

It is stated in the written version filed by the developer that common areas and facilities u/s 3 (j) of Delhi Apartment Ownership Act does not include the common areas and facilities which were designated by the developer in writing prior to allotment or which were reserved for use of certain apartment or apartments to the exclusion of other apartments and the allottees were clearly informed about the areas which were to constitute part of the common areas and the areas in which they would have to pay separately. The Club House and the basement parking, according to the developer, did not form part of the common area.

SUPER AREA

13. In terms of Annexure-II of the Agreements executed between the developer and the allottees, the price of the apartments was to be calculated on the basis of its super area. It was also noted in the above referred clause that the super area mentioned in clause 1.1 was only tentative and could change. The allottees had agreed not to object to the change of the super area. However, if the super area was to increase/decrease by more than 15% on account of any alteration/modification/change, the allottees were required to be intimated in writing before carrying out the proposed change and had an option to take refund of the payment which they had made to the developer alongwith interest.

The super area in terms of Annexure-II of the Agreements was to consist of the apartment area, pro-rata share of the common areas of the building and pro-rata share of other common areas outside the building, as defined therein.

14. In the project subject matter of these complaints, the developer has not sought additional payment for increase in the super area beyond 15%. Therefore, no prior notice to the allottees was required before increasing the super area and to the extent there has been actual increase in the super area, as defined in Annexure-II of the Agreements, the allottees are required to pay for such an increase. The allottees had also agreed that not only the super area but even the percentage of the apartment area to the super area could change and they would have no objection to change of the said ratio, though the case of the OP is that the ratio has not changed and the same continues to be 78.5% of the super area. The developer has filed the affidavit of its Additional Chief Architect Mr.Mukul Gupta who has stated on oath that the final super area based on the approved completion drawings which includes floor plans, unit area plans, elevation and sections of the building was verified and quantified by external experts M/s. GAA Advisory, who also determined the common area and pro-rata share of the apartment in the common areas. The detailed report of GAA Advisory in respect of all the three phases has been filed with the Convenience Compilation filed by the developer. It is stated in the affidavit that the super area so determined by GAA Advisory was rechecked and verified by the School of Planning and Architecture, Delhi and the reports of the said School have been filed with the Convenience Compilation.

Though, the affidavits of the experts from GAA Advisory and the School of Planning and Architect have not been filed, I see no reason to disbelieve their respective report supported by an affidavit of the Architect, when no material to the contrary has been field by the allottees. Therefore, I have no hesitation in holding that the additional demand on account of increase in the super area, which has been restricted to 15% of the super area stated in the agreements, is justified. Though, the ratio of the apartment area to the super area could also change, it is stated in the affidavit of Mr.Mukul Gupta that the final percentage of the apartment area to the super area of the apartment is not less than 78.5% and there is no material to the contrary filed by the allottees. Therefore, I find no justification in the grievance with respect to the demand on account of increase in the super area of the apartments.

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FORCE MAJEURE CIRCUMSTANCES

26. Admittedly the possession of the apartments has been considerably delayed. According to the developer the delay happened primarily on account of the abnormal time taken in approval of the building plans and the order issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi, prohibiting construction for a considerable time. The said circumstance, according to the developer was beyond its control therefore, the allottees are not entitled to any compensation for the period the possession has been delayed on account of the aforesaid factors. It is an admitted position that the building plans had not been approved at the time allotments were made in this project. The submission of the complainants is that the allotment of the flats without obtaining all the requisite approvals was by in itself a unfair trade practice and in any case, being an experienced developer, the OP knew, at the time the allotments were made that the concerned authorities would take their own time for grant of the requisite approvals. In the submission of the allottess, the time taken by the concerned authorities in sanction of the building plans cannot be a force majeure circumstance, since it was very much in the contemplation of the developer at the time the allotments were made. The learned counsel for the developer, on the other hand, submitted that though the time ordinarily taken for grant of such approvals may have been factored in by the developer while stipulating the expected date for delivery of possession, the time actually taken in this particular project was much more than the time usually taken for such approvals. There is no material before this Commission to find out how much was the time usually taken for grant of approvals in such a large project. No data in this regard has been placed before the Commission. More importantly, the correspondence exchanged between the developer and the concerned authorities has not been placed on record to prove that the delay occurred solely on the part of the concerned authorities and cannot be attributed to any defect or deficiency on the part of the developer in preparation and submission of the building plans etc. Though, the allottees were given an option to exit from the project with 9% interest, they were not bound to accept the said exit option they having booked the apartment for the purpose of having a roof over their head and not for the purpose of earning interest on the amount paid to the developer.

In any case no force majeure circumstance has been sought on account of the delay in sanction of the building plans, in the force majeure chart submitted by the developer.

27. A perusal of the prohibition letter dated 26.5.2014 issued by the Directorate of Industrial Safety & Health (Labour Department), Government of NCT of Delhi would show that there have been as many as six fatal accidents at the side of this project. One death each of the workers took place on 04.9.2011, 11.4.2012, 16.8.2012, 28.2.2013, 16.1.2014 and 17.5.2014. The work at the site was not stopped by the Government despite loss of five lives prior to 17.5.2014. After a fatal accident on 17.5.2014, an inspection was carried out and it was revealed that a worker had slipped while applying paint on tower No.14 and had later died. It was in view of the repeated accidents in the past on the same site, that the authorities held that the said site was dangerous to the safety and health of building workers. It was also noticed that despite previous directions issued by the Government and suggestion given by the National Safety Council vide its Safety Audit Report on 3.4.2014, the requisite measures for safety of the workers had not been taken. The Government was therefore constrained to stop the construction work till all the safety, health and welfare provisions were taken. Had the developer or the contractor engaged by it taken the requisite measures and complied with the directions issued by the Authorities and implemented the suggestions given by National Safety Council, the unfortunate incident of 17.5.2014, resulting in loss of sixth human lives at the same project would not have happened and consequently the work at this site would not have been stopped. Though, it was submitted on behalf of the developer that they had engaged a reputed company L&T to construct the buildings and the said contractor had taken all the requisite safety measures, no material has been placed before this Commission to prove that the safety measures taken by the contractor were adequate and in conformity with the rules. Had all the requisite safety precautions been taken as many as six incidents at the same site resulting in loss of six precious human lives would not have happened in a span of 2 years. Therefore, the developer, in my opinion cannot get any advantage on account of the aforesaid prohibitory order dated 26.5.2014 by taking advantage of its own negligence or the negligence of the contractor engaged by it. In any case, the compensation which the developer will have to pay to the allottees can always be claimed by it from the contractor to the extent it relates to the period the work was prohibited by the Government on account of the above referred fatal accidents.

28. The developer has also claimed force majeure circumstances on account of the delay in grant of the occupancy certificate. Again, no material has been placed on record to show how much is the time usually taken for grant of occupancy certificate in respect of such a large project. The opposite party being an experienced developer knew, even at the time allotments were made and the agreements with the flat buyers were executed that sometime would be taken by the concerned authorities in issuance of the occupancy certificate. In any case, the correspondence exchanged between the developer and the concerned authorities has not been placed on record to prove that there had been no defect or deficiency in the construction raised and the documents submitted by the developer to the concerned authorities for grant of the occupancy certificate and despite that the concerned authorities took more than reasonable time in issuance of the occupancy certificate.

29. For the reasons stated hereinabove, I hold that the OP has failed to establish any force majeure circumstance for the delay in offering possession of the allotted flats to the concerned allottees.”

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COMPENSATION

31. The next question which arises for consideration is the quantum of the compensation to which the allottees are entitled on account of the delay in offer of possession made to them. Though, the submission of the learned counsel for the developer was that the allottees are entitled to compensation only @ Rs.10/- per sq. ft. of the super area per month as per the agreements executed between the parties, Such one-sided agreements have consistently been held to be unfair not only by this Commission but also by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. A reference in this regard can be made to the decision of the Hon’ble Supreme Court in Pioneer Urban Land & Infrastructure Ltd. Vs. GovindanRaghavan (2019) 5 SCC 725 which to the extent it is relevant, reads as under:

“6.4. A perusal of the Apartment Buyer’s Agreement dated 08.05.2012 reveals stark incongruities between the remedies available to both the parties.

For instance, Clause 6.4 (ii) of the Agreement entitles the Appellant – Builder to charge Interest @18% p.a. on account of any delay in payment of installments from the Respondent – Flat Purchaser.

Clause 6.4 (iii) of the Agreement entitles the Appellant – Builder to cancel the allotment and terminate the Agreement, if any installment remains in arrears for more than 30 days.

On the other hand, as per Clause 11.5 of the Agreement, if the Appellant – Builder fails to deliver possession of the apartment within the stipulated period, the Respondent – Flat Purchaser has to wait for a period of 12 months after the end of the grace period, before serving a Termination Notice of 90 days on the Appellant – Builder, and even thereafter, the Appellant – Builder gets 90 days to refund only the actual installment paid by the Respondent – Flat Purchaser, after adjusting the taxes paid, interest and penalty on delayed payments. In case of any delay thereafter, the Appellant – Builder is liable to pay Interest @ 9% p.a. only.

6.5. Another instance is Clause 23.4 of the Agreement which entitles the Appellant – Builder to serve a Termination Notice upon the Respondent – Flat Purchaser for breach of any contractual obligation. If the Respondent – Flat Purchaser fails to rectify the default within 30 days of the Termination Notice, then the Agreement automatically stands cancelled, and the Appellant – Builder has the right to forfeit the entire amount of Earnest Money towards liquidated damages.

On the other hand, as Clause 11.5 (v) of the Agreement, if the Respondent – Flat Purchaser fails to exercise his right of termination within the time limit provided in Clause 11.5, then he shall not be entitled to terminate the Agreement thereafter, and shall be bound by the provisions of the Agreement.

6.6. Section 2 (r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 defines ‘unfair trade practices’ in the following words :

“‘unfair trade practice’ means a trade practice which, for the purpose of promoting the sale, use or supply of any goods or for the provision of any service, adopts any unfair method or unfair or deceptive practice …”, and includes any of the practices enumerated therein. The provision is illustrative, and not exhaustive.

6.7. A term of a contract will not be final and binding if it is shown that the flat purchasers had no option but to sign on the dotted line, on a contract framed by the builder.

The contractual terms of the Agreement dated 08.05.2012 are ex-facie one-sided, unfair, and unreasonable. The incorporation of such one-sided clauses in an agreement constitutes an unfair trade practice as per Section 2 (r) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 since it adopts unfair methods or practices for the purpose of selling the flats by the Builder.”

32. It is submitted on behalf of the developer that the allottees have not proved any loss or damage to them on account of the delay in offer of possession, whereas there has been substantial appreciation in the value of the apartments. I am unable to accept the contention that there has been no loss to the allottees on account of the delay in offer of possession. Had the apartments been delivered to them in time, they would have been living therein, besides having the mental satisfaction of living in their own houses. Also, it can hardly be disputed that the allottee who waits for a long time for the possession of the apartments allotted to him by a developer, despite his having made payment in time either from his own savings or by raising l

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oans undergoes a lot of mental agony and harassment on account of the said delay and the umpteen rounds he has to make to the office of the developer just to realize the fruits of his hard-earned income. Moreover, if such terms are allowed to prevail, an unscrupulous builder would like to take advantage of such a term and delay the construction of the flat for an indefinite time, utilizing the money collected from the flat buyers for other projects or for its other purposes. Such a situation cannot be accepted by a consumer forum which is set up primarily to protect the genuine interests of the consumers. A paltry compensation of say Rs.10/- per sq. ft. of the super area per month is at best a token compensation and does not provide adequate redress to the aggrieved allottee. If the developer knows that he can get away with paying such a paltry compensation, there will be no pressure on him to complete the construction and delivery of possession to the allottees since he knows that the said token compensation is only a fraction of the cost of the borrowings if he has to borrow funds from the market, including banks and financial institutions.” 14. In the aforesaid decision, the Co-ordinate Bench of this Commission rejecting the defence of force-majeure conditions taken by the Developer, has directed the Developer to charge additional amount on account of increase in the super area of the Apartment from the Complainant and to pay compensation in the form of simple interest @7% p.a. from the expected date for delivery of possession till the date on which the possession was actually offered to the Allottees. The conveyance deed in favour of the Allottees shall be executed within three months from the date of order, subject to payment of outstanding dues, if any, payable by the allottees to the Developer, in terms of the aforesaid order and the requisite stamp duty and registration charges. 15. At this juncture, it would not be out of place to mention here that against the aforesaid judgement of the Co-ordinate Bench of this Commission, Civil Appeal Nos. 3864-3889 of 2020 were filed before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. The Hon’ble Apex Court, Vide its order dated 14.12.2020, has dismissed the Civil Appeals filed by the Developer, with modification to the extent that the compensation on account of delay in handing over possession of the flats to the flat buyer is reduced from 7% to 6%. 16. Respectfully following the aforesaid decisions of the Hon’ble Supreme Court and the Co-ordinate Bench of this Commission, I partly allow the present complaint in the following terms:- (i) The Developer is entitled to the additional demand on account of increase in the super area of the Apartment; (ii) The Developer shall pay compensation in the form of simple interest @ 6% p.a. from the expected date of delivery of possession till handing over the actual possession; (iii) The conveyance deed in favour of the Complainant shall be executed within a period of three months from today subject to payment of outstanding amount, if any, payable by the Complainant to the Developer in terms of this order. (iv) The Complainant shall also be liable to bear the charges for requisite stamp duty and registration. (iv) The Developer shall pay a sum of Rs.50,000/- to the Complainant towards the costs of litigation.
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