Class Action By Homebuyers Against Delay In Property Possession
By Advocate Aditya Parolia / 2017-02-24
Commenting on the Supreme Court judgement regarding the Rs. 1 Crore criteria for the plea in NCDRC- While the Supreme Court judgement has brought a semblance of relief to the concerned home buyers, it has opened the floodgates on similar lawsuits which will look to bypass the due process set forth initially.

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In a fight between middle-class flat owners and corrupt builders, the Supreme Court came to the rescue of the former. It ruled that flat owners could join hands to directly approach the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) against the real estate agents and file a class action suit against the builder for delay in property possession.

Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt Ltd took shelter behind the rule that cases with value more than Rs. 1 crore can be filed before the NCDRC, to plead that the 43 home buyers who moved to the apex consumer forum against it, were disqualified from filing such a joint plea before the NCDRC. The 43 buyers had complained against delay in handing over possession of their flats.

As per the Consumer Protection Act , a plea can be filed in NCDRC directly only if the cost involved is more than Rs 1 crore; otherwise, complainants begin at the district consumer forums. The apex court passed this order while hearing a petition filed by the Amrapali Sapphire Developers Pvt. Ltd. The builder argued that 43 flat buyers, who had together moved the NCDRC against it for the delay in possession of flats, were ineligible for filing such a joint plea under the Consumer Protection Act.

The Defence by the Builder

The builder noted that cost of each 43 flats were less than Rs. 1 Crore and thus complainants should approach district consumer forums and then the state consumer forums before finally coming to the NCDRC

Commenting on the Supreme Court judgement regarding the Rs. 1 Crore criteria for the plea in NCDRC- While the Supreme Court judgement has brought a semblance of relief to the concerned home buyers, it has opened the floodgates on similar lawsuits which will look to bypass the due process set forth initially.

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Get connected to the Best Lawyers and Chartered Accountants Near You!


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