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Flat buyers now can get compensation for delay in possession

Recently, the Supreme Court of India passed an order which gives the much-needed relief for flat buyers of the country. On August 24th, in the matter of Wg. Cdr. Arifur Rahman Khan and Aleya Sultana and Ors. v. DLF Southern Homes Pvt Ltd (now Known as BEGUR OMR Homes Pvt. Ltd.) and Ors., a two judge Bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and KM Joseph said that the flat buyers are entitled to be indemnified for the delay in getting possession over the house.

Moreover, The Supreme Court has observed that failure of the developer to comply with the contractual obligation to provide the flat to a flat purchaser within a contractually stipulated period amounts to a 'deficiency'. In cases where there is a gross delay in the handing over of possession beyond the contractually stipulated period, the jurisdiction of the consumer forum to award just and reasonable compensation is not constrained by the terms of a rate in builders agreement, the bench said.

What it means to the flat buyers?

This judgement of the Apex Court came in a matter where the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, declined to entertain a consumer complaint by 339 flat buyers, and accepted the defence of DLF Southern Homes Pvt Ltd and Annabel Builders and Developers Pvt Ltd that there was no deficiency of service on their part in complying with their contractual obligations and that despite a delay in handing over the possession of the residential flats, the purchasers were not entitled to compensation in excess of what was stipulated in the Apartment Buyers Agreement.

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