Consumer Forum directed a builder to pay Rs. 11.50 Lakhs for failure to provide OC.

The Mumbai Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum recently held the builders guilty for deficiency in services and ordered them to pay to a Housing Society at Borivali an amount of more than Rs. 11.50 Lakhs for failure to fulfil the Statutory and contractual obligations. In this matter the Consumer Court have also considered compensation of a sum of more than Rs 2 Lakhs towards Legal and other expenses for causing a deficiency of services.

Adv. R. P. Rathod. throws light on some important facts of the Case: The complainant in this matter is a tenant-copartner Co-operative Housing Society which was duly incorporated in year 2001 under Section 9 of the Maharashtra Co-operative Societies Act 1960. The facts of the matter are that the Members of the Complainant society had purchased their respective flats from the Opponents Builders. The possession was taken by the members in the year 1997-98 without the Occupation Certificate. The building has two Lifts & is a 10 storied building. The developer failed to provide the service as mentioned in the Agreement and Statute. The deficiency in the service was found regarding the following:-

·     Failure to Form and register the society
·     Failure to obtain Occupation Certificate.
·     Failure to execute Conveyance Deed as lack of Occupation Certificate.
·     Failure to provide proper Lift service.
·     Failure to pay Municipal Taxes.
·     Failure to pay maintenance charges in respect of two flats in possession of the Opposite Party.
·     Failure to provide proper fire hydrant.
·     Failure to install proper Electric meter in a room with ventilation.
·     Failure to provide Garden and children playing equipment.
·     Failure to provide proper fire hydrant in the building.

The Complainant has accordingly prayed for the various reliefs, while passing the said order the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum Mumbai observed that, “It is the right of the buyer/consumer, to get all amenities and enjoy all services as specified in the agreement”. Further the Consumer Court held that as per Section 10 of Maharashtra Ownership Flat Act it is the Promoter who has to take the steps for formation of the society. The forum held that it’s a Statutory duty of the builder to obtain OC before the residents are allowed to occupy the premises. The forum held that the “Opponents would be jointly and severally liable to comply with the order.”

This is a classic example which shows that the “Consumer is the King” & “Persistence pays off”. It is because of the flat purchasers that the builders earn their livelihood hence the flat purchaser/ consumer is regarded as the king. The egocentric builder’s looks only for their gains rather than concentrating on the Flat purchasers needs. The Consumer Forum here perfectly act's and steps in to adjudicate & reconcile in such situations, the only thing required to seek justice is Consumers diligent persistence concludes Adv. R. P. Rathod.

-      Adv. R. P. Rathod.