Supreme Court action against builder: Builders have no idea about money or imprisonment, says SC
The Supreme Court on Thursday said, ‘The builder either sees the money or understands the sentence of imprisonment.’ The court observed this, convicting the real estate company of contempt for deliberately disobeying its order. The court has imposed a fine of Rs 15 lakh on the builder.
Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice M.R. Shah’s bench noted that on January 5 this year, he had directed the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on August 28 last year to return the money to home buyers with 9 per cent interest.
“We directed you to repay the amount within two months on January 5,” the bench said. Then you (the builder) filed a petition to amend the order, which we rejected in March and instructed you to return the money to the home buyer within two months. Now, again home buyers have brought contempt petitions before us that you did not pay. You have to take some concrete steps that need to be remembered or someone has to be sent to jail. Builders only see money or consider it a prison sentence.
Lawyers for the realty company said they have made an RTGS payment of Rs 58.20 lakh today and a demand draft of Rs 50 lakh is also ready for home buyers. The bench said, “You wanted to pay in March but now in August you are saying that you are doing it now.” You have deliberately disobeyed our order, we cannot take it lightly. ‘
The company’s lawyers said it apologized for the delay and inconvenience. On this, the bench said, ‘We do not accept this apology. The builder has resorted to all sorts of maneuvers to disobey the order.
The apex court said, “The court order was deliberately and blatantly ignored. Defendant (builder) is therefore found guilty of contempt. No valid reason was given for the delay in payment. We instruct the petitioner (home buyer) to pay the full amount and it should be done during the working hours of the day.
The apex court asked the builder to pay the home buyer a fine of Rs 2 lakh for litigation costs and Rs 15 lakh to the Legal Services Authority.
The buyers of The Corridor, a group housing project in Sector 67, Gurgaon, Haryana, had gone to court to get their money back to the builder due to delay in getting the flat. The buyers say they paid Rs 62,31,906 to the builder. The agreement was signed on March 24, 2014. He was to be given the flat in January 2017. But it was too late.
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