SC directs Unitech to pay 14% interest to Vistas home buyers

Published on 22 Feb 2017 by Team

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court has directed realty developer Unitech to pay interest at the rate of 14 per cent per year on the investments made by 39 home buyers of its delayed Vistas project in Gurgaon. 
In an interim order on Monday, the court said the interest would be applicable from January 1, 2010, and will be in addition to the Rs 16.55 crore that the company was ordered to refund to the buyers. 

The interest rate is not final and may go up, said advocate Pawanshree Agrawal, who represented the aggrieved buyers. 

"Just half the battle is won till now. The court has fixed the interest component at 14 per cent. However, it said that further decisions on the interest component and compensation would be taken at the next date of hearing," Agrawal said. The next hearing is scheduled for April 3. 

A bench comprising Justice Dipak Misra, Justice AM Khanwilkar and Justice Mohan M Shantanagouder gave Unitech eight weeks to deposit 90 per cent of the interest amount with the court’s registry for payment to the affected buyers. 

"All of us are happy to see Unitech finally getting punished for the lapse. We hope that the court will give us compensation for mental agony as well so that we can buy homes," said Prasoon Dubey, one of the buyers. 

Unitech said, in its response, that only a percentage of the interest amount to be deposited can be withdrawn by the home buyers. 

"Various issues have been kept open and would be decided by Hon’ble Supreme Court in April this year," the developer said, adding, "Unitech has already ramped up its construction at various sites.” 

The Supreme Court ordered Unitech in October to refund Rs 16.55 crore to the 39 buyers of its Vistas project for delaying the handing over of apartments, which the company has complied with. 

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission had imposed a 12 per cent penalty on Unitech in June 2015 for delaying the delivery of flats in this project. The builder moved the Supreme Court against the commission’s order in August 2015. Launched in mid-2009, the Vistas project was to be delivered in December 2012.

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