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NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Friday ordered a builder, IREO Pvt Ltd, to reimburse crores of rupees to apartment buyers who wanted reimbursement of their investment because the real estate agent sold a dream house with a concrete floor Italian marble, a view of the golf course and other luxury amenities in the brochure but did not provide the facilities promised.
The ‘Skyon’ project on the golf course extension road at Gurugram was delayed for several years and when the apartment buyers, who had each invested more than Rs 2 crore, demanded a refund, IREO Pvt Ltd threatened to deduct 20% of their invested money. They moved the consumer court and got the principal back with 10.5% interest as provided by the Haryana RERA.
The IREO, through Ankur Sehgal, appealed the NCDRC’s decision to the SC. A panel of judges DY Chandrachud and Bela M Trivedi asked the builder’s lawyer whether the promised golf course view was available to apartment owners.
Sehgal said there was a manufacturer-provided green belt but no golf course. The bench said: “You (the builder) are selling homebuyers a dream but not providing the promised amenities. When the promised amenities are not provided, they are entitled to a return of their investment with interest.”
The two plaintiffs, Aloke Anand and Nitin Juneja, through their attorney, detailed a long list of breaches of promises, which were made in the brochure by the builder. According to the complainant, the project was meant to be a very high-end, one-of-a-kind development and as a result there was a huge premium paid for the property @ 11,600 per square foot over other nearby properties, which were charging Rs 6,500 per square foot.
They said that according to the brochure and the apartment purchase agreement signed between the parties, “the project was supposed to be a modern, high-efficiency and technology-driven project with facilities such as the smart home automation, high-speed elevators, panoramic balconies, VRFT technology air conditioning, world-class club with a range of recreational and sports options, etc. But, there was a total deviation from the specifications and the amenities mentioned in the brochure and apartment purchase agreement and specifically the lack of a golf course as promised, the project was a mid-level project.”
The SC agreed that such discrepancies entitled apartment buyers to demand reimbursement and upheld the NCDRC’s order. IREO must now repay Rs 2.2 crore to a flat buyer and another Rs 4.68 crore, both with 10.5% interest.