Sai Lakshmi Township directed to pay Rs. 6 lakh to Hyderabad resident for delayed property possession
Konda Hemalatha (60), a Malakpet resident, purchased plot no.340 spanning 300 square yards in Sai Lakshmi Townships located at Deshmukh village in Nalgonda district
HYDERABAD: The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum has ordered Sai Lakshmi Townships to pay Rs. 6 lakh in compensation for delayed property possession and mental distress caused to a Hyderabad resident.
Konda Hemalatha (60), a Malakpet resident, purchased plot no.340 spanning 300 square yards in Sai Lakshmi Townships located at Deshmukh village in Bhoodan Pochampally mandal in Nalgonda district.
When she visited the scheduled property in July 2019, she was shocked to see that the plot's boundary stones had been removed and fencing had been erected. She contacted Sai Lakshmi Townships and inquired about the matter.
She was told that if they did not resolve the issue by December 31, 2019, or did not hand over the said plot, they agreed to pay the market value of the plot and reclaim ownership of the plot.
According to the agreement, Sai Lakshmi Townships issued two cheques for Rs. 3,50,000 and another for Rs. 4,50,000 dated June 20, 2022 and paid a total of Rs.8,00,000 towards the market value of the said plot as they failed to handover the plot on time.
However, both the cheques were returned unpaid on June 29, 2022 with an endorsement ‘insufficient funds’ when the cheques were presented for collection on June 28, 2022.
Dissatisfied Konda Hemalatha issued a legal notice to Sai Lakshmi Township on July 18, 2022, which was returned. Despite several phone calls and personal visits to Sai Lakshmi Townships, they failed to pay the market value for the scheduled plot. Hence, Konda Hemalatha petitioned the consumer forum for appropriate relief against Sai Lakshmi Township.
According to a written version, while denying all allegations, Sai Lakshmi Township claimed that Konda Hemalatha purchased the schedule plot and signed a sale deed on August 18, 2023, and that they delivered physical possession of the scheduled property on the same day.
They claimed that Konda Hemalatha filed the complainant after a lapse of 9 years and Sai Lakshmi Township stating that they have neither entered into any agreement nor agreed to pay the market value of the plot and were not aware of any cheques.
Sai Lakshmi Township demanded to dismiss Konda Hemalatha's complaint claiming that there was no deficiency of service on their part.
However, the court took note of the evidence affidavit filed by Konda Hemalatha during the investigation. She also submitted the sale deed, the agreement signed by Sai Lakshmi Township, copies of cheques issued by the Township and cheque return memos issued by the Bank, the legal notice, and postal receipts.
Based on the facts and material on record, as well as the written/oral submissions of both parties, the court noted that, despite denying all of Konda Hemalatha's allegations, Sai Lakshmi Township expressed willingness to settle the matter by paying Rs. 6 lakh, demonstrating that they have not delivered possession of the schedule property to the complainant despite receiving sale consideration from Konda Hemalatha.
The court also noted that it was evident that the Sai Lakshmi Township intended to pay the market value of the land if they were unable to resolve the land issues and hand over the said plot to the complainant by December 31, 2019. They even issued two cheques totaling Rs. 8 lakh, which were returned by the banks, indicating a deficiency of service and an implied breach of contract on the part of Sai Lakshmi Township.
The court ruled in favor of Konda Hemalatha, ordering Sai Lakshmi Township to pay a sum of Rs. 5 lakh balance amount, Rs. 1 lakh in compensation, and Rs. 10,000 in litigation costs within 45 days for the inordinate delay in handing over possession of the scheduled property, as well as for causing loss and mental anguish to Konda Hemalatha.