<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Builders can no longer use ‘pending civil legal petition’ as pretext for denying compensation levied over delay in handing over possession of booked flats. The State Consumer Redressal Commission recently penalised a builder who refused to compensate a consumer, despite the District Forum ruling in favour of the consumer.The commission in its order held that on the pretext of mere pendency of litigation in Bombay High Court it cannot agree that execution of DF’s order is not possible by the builder. The commission also imposed Rs 20,000 fine in addition to the costs already imposed by the DF against the builder. Thane resident Amarnath Singh had approached M/s Everlasting & Co. in 1988 to book a flat and a shop in its development raised in Ghodbunder road. A flat with an area of 599 sq ft was booked for a cost of Rs. 3,69,750 of which he had paid Rs 2,85,971, while a shop measuring 260 sq ft was booked for Rs 1,58,500 of which Rs 1,38,936 was already paid. Despite the fact that the buildings were completed, on the ground of pending litigation in the High Court, the complainant was deprived of fruits of the award. There were agreements to sell flat and shop in favour of the complainant long back on November 1,1988 and the builder had promised to hand over possession and the conveyance pursuant to the agreements.The complainant after a long wait had approached the Thane district consumer forum, where the developer contended that though buildings are complete, they are not in a position to comply with DF’s order due to a status quo order by the Bombay High Court. The forum however had asked the developer to solve the issue at his own end and accept the balance amount from the consumer and hand over the flat and the shop. The forum further had also asked the developer to pay Rs 1,92,500 towards the rent occurred towards the complainant along with Rs 50,000 towards his mental harassment and Rs 20,000 towards the litigation charges.The developer again failed to abide by the forum’s order quoting the same grounds of status- quo order passed by the High court.EXCUSE NOT OKThe commission in its order said that civil litigation cannot be used as a pretext to deny compensation Once a final order is passed in favour of the consumer, it has to be enforced, said the commission

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Builder cites litigation to defy order of consumer panel, fined Rs 20,000