Consumers should prove their case

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By Adv. Jatin Ramaiya 

Sanjay Ganpat Madkaikar, Bardez, approached the Goa State Consumer Disputes Commission, complaining against Kudnnekar and others.  He complained that Kudnnekar and others violated the terms of the agreement and had not handed over possession of his flat within stipulated period of time in the agreement.  The 55 year in his complaint claimed that, the builders have failed to complete the construction even after four years of the signing of the agreement and have delayed the project without any reason and still the construction is going on at a slow pace.

Even the quality of the construction is substandard and there are many defects in the said flats and this is against the promises given by the builder, he said. It was further alleged that, during the rainy season the water seeped in through the walls due to cracks and the walls of both the flats are getting damp due to which the paint is developing bubbles and at certain spots the inner wall putty has broken into pieces. The damaged damp wall has started giving foul smell in both the flats. Even the wiring is not properly fitted, claimed Madkaikar. He added that, due to non delivery of the flats he was constrained to stay in a rented accommodation from January, 2013 and therefore, suffered huge expenses towards rent and the said rents are recoverable from the builders.

The builder on the other hand disputed Madkaikar and raised the objection that the complaint was barred by limitation as it was not within two years from cause of action. The builder also stated that Madkaikar had not paid certain sums and maintenance charges which were payable interim of the agreement and despite non-payment, the building was completed and obtained occupancy certificate. He said that, Madkaikar was asked to pay the balance amount and take possession of the said flats, however he failed to do so.  Moreover, the builder stated that the complainant has not demonstrated any defects to the said flats.

The Commission considered the material on record partly allowed the complaint filed by Madkaikar. Members observed that “The contention of the opposing party that the complaint is barred by limitation has no substance. The Commission further held that  Madkaikar was entitled to receive the possession of the flats in view of the final occupancy issued by Mapusal Municipality.  With regards to the allegation sub-standards quality of work, the Commission observed that, there was no supporting report by affidavit of any civil engineer or even affidavit of any common man.

The Commission further held that since no tenancy agreement was produced by Madkaikar, the relief of recovery of amount as rent paid could not be granted for lack of proof and therefore directed to the builder to deliver possession of the subject flats with occupancy certificates within a period of 60 days provided the balance amount of Rs 4.25 lakh is paid by

Madkaikar within 30 days amongst other reliefs.