If you were going to buy a residential apartment from a building named ‘Radiant Manor’ you would quite naturally except to get a perfect home to live in. This is what Venkatesh Narayan Baichwal of Jayanagar had hoped for when he entered into a construction agreement in March 2005 with Radiant Homes (Proprietor, Manohar Karkal). This firm had agreed to construct a residential apartment for him measuring 975 square feet on the second floor of a building named Radiant Manor.
The agreement was that the seller would pay Rs.11,97,500 for construction of the apartment inclusive of Rs. One lakh towards a reserved car parking space in the basement of Radiant Manor. There was an additional Rs.58,500 towards charges and deposits for providing all facilities such as electricity, water, and sanitation. Radiant Homes had undertaken to deliver possession of the apartment with all amenities and facilities to Baichwal within six months from the date of the agreement.
Baichwal paid up Rs. 11,47,500 to the builder along with Rs.75,000 towards stamp duty and registration charges. But 12 months later he got his flat and was dismayed to find that it was hardly a radiant home. Radiant Homes had not bothered to give regular electricity connection or municipal water supply. It had not thought it necessary to install a lift for which the consumer had paid up. There was no proper parking facility. The apartment had not even been covered with a compound or proper security systems. The telephone and television cables were missing. The interior of the flat was not painted nor was there a name board. Worse, the windows did not have fortifications so when the thundering Bangalore rains came, the water gushed into the flat!
Along with other aggrieved owners, Baichwal complained to the builder about the hardships they were facing in their flats without the vital facilities. All of 2006 went by without the builder heeding their problems and finally he was forced to complain to the Bangalore IV Additional District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum.
In the Court, Radiant Homes (proprietor: Manohar Karkal) said that temporary power connection had been provided to the consumer, which was paid for by the builder, and as he had already taken possession of the flat he could not complain about the services.
But the Consumer Forum President G Siddanagoud ruled in his order (dated 7 March 2007) that temporary connection of electricity and water supply was not going to solve the problem. When the opposite party had received the entire amount it was his duty to provide all permanent amenities to the flat owner at the time of giving him the sale deed itself. He found Radiant Homes guilty of deficient service and ordered them to provide all basic amenities to the consumer along with Rs. 25,000 as compensation along with Rs. 5000 as costs.
Siddanagoud further ruled: "If the basic amenities are not provided as ordered by this forum within three months, the opposite party is further directed to pay Rs.25 ,000 compensation for every month soon after the completion of the third month from the date of this order till it provides all facilites to the complainant." (Complaint number 3218/2006.)
Subhash Kumar was another unlucky buyer of yet another not very Radiant Home. There are 12 flats in this apartment building at New BEL Road. He too paid up the entire amount and is still waiting for the builder to give him basic amenities. He and the other hapless owners of these unpainted, rain streaked, flats without water or electricity met proprietor Manohar Karkal after a lot of hassles, on 21 May 2006. Karkal agreed to solve their problems.
But again in July 2006 they had to write to him about the inconvenience and hardships faced by them due to his delay in providing basic amenities. He then told them that all facilities would be provided by September 2006. But even after a legal notice, he did not fulfill his commitments. Instead he sent them an unpleasant reply. Even though possession was given in March 2006, the facilities were still not provided.
Subhash Kumar complained to the Forum which again ordered the builder to provide all amenities within a month of receiving the court order. If the work was not finished within three months the builder would have to pay Rs. 25,000 compensation for every month soon after the completion of three months from the date of this order till it provides all facilities to the complainant. The order said that the builder had cased mental agony and harassment for the consumer who had to live in an apartment without water or electricity.
Wise Buy spoke to one of the consumers to find out if the builder had provided the amenities. Six months after the court order of March 2007, Radiant Homes has not done anything to comply with the court order, and one of the complainants told this reporter that they were now planning to go back to the IV Additional Forum to request it to use section 27 under the Consumer Protection Act which enables the court to take the help of the Bangalore police to immediately arrest the builder for not complying with its order.
Ten buyers of Radiant Homes have been forced to live in their unpainted flats managing with temporary water, electricity etc. as they could not afford rented accommodation, having already paid up large sums for building their flats.
Consumers must become aware of section 27 of the Consumer Protect Act. This provision comes to their help when the opposite party does not comply with a court order that is already in their favour.