MUMBAI: In an order passed this week, a district consumer forum directed a builder to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to a housing society in Malad for the inconvenience they had faced in the absence of the mandatory Occupation Certificate (OC).

According to the Sai Sankalp Housing Society, from 1993 to 2001, they had to pay double the water charges and higher property taxes as the builder failed to get an OC due to the breach of FSI norms and construction of an illegal floor.

Agreeing that there was deficiency in service by the builder, the forum ordered him to pay an additional Rs 5,000 to the society and to take appropriate steps with the authorities and obtain the OC as well as the execution of conveyance within four months.

Residents of the Malad building had taken possession of their flats and formed the society in 1993-94. According to them, despite repeated requests, the builder, Narendra Jadhav, has failed to obtained the OC as well as the completion certificate and also did not furnish the copy of the approved plans to them. As a result, the society allegedly had to suffer a loss of more than Rs 5 lakh for having to pay higher water charges and property tax from 1993 to 2002: they paid higher property tax, which added up to around Rs 7 lakh per year, and double the water charges, which came to around Rs 3.10 lakh over nine years.

Denying the charges, Jadhav, however, claimed that the housing society neither had to make any extra payment nor did they suffer any loss due to the absence of the OC. Jadhav also alleged that the buyers took "possession of the flats before schedule'' as a result of which, he could not obtain the Occupation Certificate. He claimed that he then had to lodge a police complaint of criminal trespass against the flat-owners.

The Mumbai Suburban District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, presided by J L Deshpande and members V G Joshi and D S Bidnurkar, however, did not find any substance in Jadhav's defence and observed that "the builder has not produced any material on the record to substantiate these allegations...(Jadhav) has not offered any justification for not obtaining the OC from the competent authority''.

Citing Development Control Rules, the forum said the onus was on the builder to obtain an OC and even if the flat purchasers had insisted on taking possession earlier than the scheduled time, he did not have any reason for not getting the OC. The forum also cited the provisions of the Maharashtra Ownership Flats Act, 1963, which states that if there is no fixed period to for execution of the conveyance then the builder is under an obligation to execute the conveyance within four months from the date of formation and registration of the society. In its absence, Jadhav had "committed deficiency of service and breach of statutory obligation'', the order stated.

The forum also ordered that if Jadhav failed to procure the certificates within four months from the date of receipt of the order, he would have to pay the housing society a penalty of Rs 500 per day from the date of expiry till the compliance of the directions.
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  • I do not know if this a good news or bad news. Rs 5L fine is very very very very very small. Builders can ask his son to pay this amount from his pocket money savings.:bab (45)::bab (45):

    Well why not, builders are special people. We people stand in queue to book their flats and enjoy holiday on voting day, what more should we expect for ourselves!
  • However small the amount might be, the fact of the matter is, the law was laid down and enforced. That's all we normal folks need.

    My idea of cleaning up India is not of directly catching Sharad Pawar's neck and throwing him into jail. That's a bad idea, in the first place. The system should be cleaned bottom up.

    All these small builders who crop up in nooks and corners and violate the law at their will, generally have no contacts deep in the political system. What they have is just some inherited money and loads of confidence of the kinds of (if he could do it, why can't I).

    If the law starts breaking down these small time builders 40% of the system will be cleaned up. We will have solved one side of the equation where-in normal people will think twice before thinking whether I should into the builder business.

    The rest of the 60% will be cleaned up only on case-by-case basis. Catch the weakest link and mop him up. Then go on the next one.

    This is the only way our country can move ahead and nail some amount of corruption.
  • Do not agree!

    Originally Posted by harshalx
    However small the amount might be, the fact of the matter is, the law was laid down and enforced. That's all we normal folks need.

    The small amount of fine, would encourage or discourage the builders from doing more wrong? Knowing this meager amount of fine, builders would have attitude, "lets cheat the buyers, even if they go in court all he has to do is pay meager amount". Now they are not even scared of the law.:bab (45):

    Causing inconvenience to entire society for multiple years, fine should have been in multiple million dollars. 5L fine is only going to encourage them to do more fraud/cheating.:bab (45)::bab (45)::bab (45):