• Delay of construction of a property in SEZ by NCTPL

I had booked an apartment constructed by NCTPL (100% subsidary of MARG Ltd.) at an SEZ in Cheyyur, Chennai . The builder advertised the apartment as a product that can be purchased and owned for a price. But after collecting an advance booking amount of Rs. 50,000 -/- and Rs.  2,00,000 -/- based on stage of construction, he gave a lease agreement saying that the property cannot be owned but only be leased for 99 years since it is an SEZ. There is a clause in lease deed which says that the lease will be subjected to auto renewal after 99 years without any extra payment. So I had signed the lease agreement thinking that it is like owning a property and that the construction will be over in time. 

But the lease agreement is in builder favour and against consumers as follows:
1. No completion date mentioned 
2. Interest to be paid by consumer for delay in payment 
3. No penalty mentioned if there is a delay in construction by the builder 
4. Right to terminate the lease is vested with the builder for delay in payment.
5. Termination right of consumer if there is a delay in construction not mentioned
5. Arbitrator to be appointed by the builder.

Now CAG has mentioned in its performance audit report on SEZ that lease of apartments to outside SEZ individuals as illegal and held such builders guilty. Department of Commerce in reply is state to have initiated action against the builder in this regard. A few of we consumers have companied to the SEZ development commissioner asking him  to declare the lease deeds void or notify the areas where apartments are constructed as non SEZ areas and are awaiting his reply and action.

My Question is:

1. Can I file a criminal case for the builder's false or misleading advertisements now as I had already signed the lease agreement and it has been more than three years since I signed the lease agreement?

2. The agreement as of now is in builders favour and it mentions that Cases of dispute shall be heard at courts in Chennai. Since there has been more than 3-4 years delay and I as a consumer want the builder to be directed by a competent authority to cancel the existing agreement and modify it to pay the due penalty to me. Whom can I approach - Competition Commission of India or a consumer court in Chennai?
Asked 2 years ago in Property Law from Chennai, Tamil Nadu
1. Yes, you can very much file case of cheating and fraud against the builder. For such cases no time limit is required and but it is advisable to file it asap.

2. For criminal cases, place of suing can not be fixed by either of the parties. So you can file case of cheating where you stay or where the property exists or where any of offices of the builder situates.

3. This is more fit case to be filed in consumer forum than in Competition Tribunal as from consumer forum you will get order of compensation and damages along with refund of money already paid. There is no need for cancellation of such agreement by any authority in a separate proceeding. However in view of the said clause such case is to be filed in Chennai only.
Devajyoti Barman
Advocate, Kolkata
5217 Answers
54 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1)you can file criminal complaint of cheating , criminal breach of trust against the builder 

2) you should file complaint before consumer forum against builder on account of deficiency in service . since builder has failed to complete construction although more than 3 years have passed you should seek refund of money paid with interest . 

3) you should also seek compensation for mental agony that you have undergone on account of failure of builder to complete his contractual obligations
4) file complaint before consumer forum in chennai
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23264 Answers
1219 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. You can file a criminal complaint before the local police alleging acts of cheating, criminal berach of trust & criminal conspiracy against the builder,

2. Send a copy of the complaint to local S.P./D.C by speed post,

3. File an application before the Court u/s156(3) praying for direction upon the police to investigate and act based on your complaint,

4. You can also file a complaint case before the local District Consumer Dispute Redressal Forum alleging deficiency in service and unfair business practice claiming refund of the amount required for purchasing falt of same floor area in similar locality after deducting your payables, interest, damage and cost.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12113 Answers
231 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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