Emmar MGF Land Held Liable by NCDRC for Delay in Delivery of Possession

The National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, under the leadership of Justice A. P. Sahi, Finds Emaar MGF Land Liable for Deficiency in Service Arising From Delayed Possession of Booked Flats.

Brief Facts Of The Case

The complainant had booked a flat in Emaar MGF Land’s Gurgaon Greens project, initially paying a sum. However, the builder failed to meet the stipulated possession deadline, including the grace period post construction commencement. Despite the expected delivery date passing, the builder neither completed the project nor handed over possession. Instead, they demanded additional payments, which the complainant declined. Seeking redress, the complainant approached the National Commission, requesting possession of the unit or, alternatively, a full refund of the amount paid, coupled with interest, damages, and associated reliefs.

Contentions Of The Builders

Emaar MGF Land Limited, the builder, asserted that the complainant defaulted on the payment schedule and ceased payments after a specific date. They claimed that all payment demands from a certain point onward were declined by the complainant, prompting the current complaint. The builder stated that construction began within a certain timeframe, and efforts were made to acquire the occupancy certificate and fulfill other formalities. They further noted that possession of the unit was offered to the complainant via a letter. Arguing that possession was available, the builder contended that the complainant was not entitled to a refund but could only seek compensation for any delays according to the agreement’s terms.

The Commission noted that while the expected possession delivery fell within a specific timeframe, the builder acknowledged delays due to partner disputes and certain force majeure conditions, including the unavailability of the occupancy certificate. However, the Commission deemed such defenses obsolete in light of recent Supreme Court rulings. Citing judgments in cases like Ireo Grace Realtech Pvt. Ltd. vs. Abhishek Khanna & Ors. and Wing Commander Arifur Rahman Khan and Ors. vs. DLF Southern Homes Private Limited & Ors., the Commission emphasized that buyers should not suffer due to possession delays caused by the builder. Buyers cannot be indefinitely compelled to wait for possession or make payments when the project fails to commence on time. Referring to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Experion Developers Pvt. Ltd. vs. Sushma Ashok Shiroor, which reiterated this principle, the Commission concluded that possession delays cannot prejudice buyers’ rights. In this case, the complainant had made the last payment on a specific date, and there were no outstanding dues according to the builder’s accounts. Consequently, the Commission held that the builder’s delay was sufficient to thwart the flat buyers’ expectations.

Posted and reproduced in Public Interest by

Adv. Sulaiman Bhimani Legal Consultant

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