• Real estate fraud and then cheque bounces from the company

Dear Sir,

   I had purchased a plot in the year 2012 from real estate developer in Hyderabad.Total plot cost is Rs.4,30,000/- has been paid and the registration has been done on my name for the same. Later they did not develop the venture and delayed it. After a year we came to know that the farmer who sold his land to the developer had not got his full amount and had taken his land back. The farmer is doing agriculture in it. When asked about this, the developer says they have some legal issues with the plot.  After many follow ups and big fights they asked  us to take another plot in their different venture, which we were not interested as we lost faith in them.Again many visits and follow ups then they agreed to return our full amount and had given three post dated cheques amounting to Rs.4,30,000. They all got bounced. Again after long visits and many follow ups, they gave me another post dated cheque of Rs.4,30,000 dated May 2014. This cheque also got bounced. Now I'm tired of visiting them. I have all the registration documents and other documents related to this.
 
I have a little baby and will not be able to visit court every time. 
Also I'm not sure of how many years will this case take to get me my hard earned amount back. 
I even donot know whether I will get my money back. Sir, how can I proceed with this case. 


Please answer my below questions :

1) How long (Months/Years) it would take to claim my money back, if I proceed legally?
2) Will I get full amount with interest and how much would that be?
3) What would be the court fee and lawyer's fee ?
4) What case would it come under (Criminal/fraud/cheating...)?
5) The company CEO has political influence, would that effect my case if I file?
6) How many court visits do I need to make personally? 
 

Thank you
Sowmya
Asked 1 year ago in Civil Law from Hyderabad, Telangana
1) you can move consumer forum against the real estate company and request for refund of Rs 4.30,000 with interest at 18%from date of making payment 

2) you can also seek compensation for mental torture you have undergone 

3)consumer forum cases take 2 years to be disposed of 

4) court fees are nominal 

5) legal fees vary 

6) you can also file criminal complaint of cheating , criminal breach of trust against the company 

7) political influence cannot help the real estate company . they will have to comply with court orders 

8) you need not attend court on each date .your lawyer will attend court and keep you posted on developments in your case
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23206 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Dear Sowmya
My opinion on your queries are as under:

1) How long (Months/Years) it would take to claim my money back, if I proceed legally?
Opinion: there is no specific time limit but you will get your money back.

2) Will I get full amount with interest and how much would that be?
Opinion: If you file a civil case for recovery of the money before civil court under Order 37 of CPC it will be better and spedy too and you will get your money with the interest 6%-18% per annum with litigation charge too.
If you filed criminal case u/s 406/420 of IPC then it is purely criminal case and in this case the accused may get punishment but you can not get your money back.
you may file both the case similarly 
 
3) What would be the court fee and lawyer's fee ?
Opinion: Its depend on the lawyer and your state.

4) What case would it come under (Criminal/fraud/cheating...)?
Opinion: Yes, it comes under the Fraud and cheating.

5) The company CEO has political influence, would that effect my case if I file?
Opinion: No need to worry, Justice will be done with you by legal system, faith on the judiciary.

6) How many court visits do I need to make personally? 
Opinion: two, one is criminal where you will file criminal case u/s 406/420 of IPC and one civil where you will file a civil suit for recovery under Order 37 of CPC.


1.Is consumer forum different from going through a lawyer?
Opinion: You may also file a complaint before consumer forum and if you think that you are able to fight the case yourself then no need of any lawyer.

2.what is the process of moving to a consumer forum?
Opinion: file a written complaint before district consumer Forum with the court fee which will be very easy to pay and after filing your complaint the court/forum will issue notice to opposite party and after his reply on your complaint the forum will frame issues and the matter will be fixed for the evidence, file your evidence by way of affidavit and then the forum will direct to opposite party to file his evidence by way of affidavit, the forum may or may not allow the cross examinations of the parties if think fit, and fixed for the argument, it may be written or oral or both and after the argument the forum will pronounce Judgement.

3.Would it be good to go through consumer forum or lawyer? 
Opinion: as above point no. 1
Nadeem Qureshi
Advocate, New Delhi
3523 Answers
130 Consultations
4.9 on 5.0
1) you can fight your case without lawyer . 

2) it is true that if you engage a lawyer you have to pay his legal fees too . 

3)since you had raised specific query regarding lawyer fees i had advised accordingly 

4) you have to draft complaint , state detailed facts of case , grounds , reliefs claimed in your complaint . . it is advisable to engage a local lawyer  for said purposes
Ajay Sethi
Advocate, Mumbai
23206 Answers
1218 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hello,

1) You can get a full refund of the money you paid as the developer failed to fulfill his part of the contract. You can claim the refund with interest at 18% per annum.

2) It can take 2 to 3 years for the case to be disposed of by the consumer forum.

3) Court fee is minimal and usually less than Rs. 1000/-. The lawyer's fee differs from lawyer to lawyer.

4)You can initiate a criminal case besides approaching the Consumer Forum for deficiency of service.

5) The political clout of the opponent will not affect your case  and its result in the court.

6) It is difficult to say exactly how many visits you may have to make to the court before it is disposed of. Ifyou hire a lawyer to conduct your case your personal attendance can get exempted and at the you may have to make two or three visits during the stage of evidence.

7) If you choose to conduct the case yourself you can do so. There's no hard and fast rule that in a consumer case you need the service of a lawyer.The builder will have one. If you can handle that you can proceed. 

8)There is no distinction in going through consumer forum and/ lawyer. You can present the case on your own or hire a lawyer to do the job. A lawyer being a professional will be better equipped in the situation. Finally this is your call.
S J Mathew
Advocate, Mumbai
1950 Answers
65 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
Hi, From your narration the chequs are issued by the builder in the year 2014, as and when the cheque is dishonored you have to initiate criminal action against the Builder so that you can avoid court fee payable to the court.

2. Now you don not have an option you have to file a civil suit for the recovery of the amount with interest and one disadvantage is  that you have to pay court fee  and other than this you have to file a complaint before the consumer court where court fee payable is comparatively low but as my experience some time even though the your complaint may be allowed but it is difficult to recover the amount in consumer forum as the procedure involved is cumbersum.
Pradeep Bharathipura
Advocate, Bangalore
4104 Answers
133 Consultations
4.3 on 5.0
1. You have purchased a plot of land without any contruction thereupon,

2. So, it will be out of the purvew of Consumer Forum,

3. You should have made registry search and examination of other documents in connection with the land which you had purchsed,

4. File a case u/s138 of N.I.Act against the seller,

5. File cheating case against the seller,

6. Also file a Summary Suit for recovery of the amount you had paid,

7. If there is some construction made on the said plot by the seller and sold to you and registered, you can file a comsumer case before the local Consumer Forum.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12104 Answers
230 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Any body can file a complaint case before the local District Consumer dispute redressal Forum alleging deficiency in service and unfair business practice claiming redressal either by himself or through his lawyer,

2. & 3. Consumer Forum acts as a judicial forum which can pronounce and deliver verdict as per Consumer Act. Lawyers also file before the same forum for their clients. Clients can file in the same forum directly without going through lawyer,

4. If you have purchased and registered a plot of land without any house constructed thereupon, then your matter will not be tried at Consumer Forum,

5. Verify this aspect before venturing for filing.
Krishna Kishore Ganguly
Advocate, Kolkata
12104 Answers
230 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. It seems that you did not file a case for cheque bounce against the builder. Well by doing so you have missed the trick in as much as a very potent weapon in your legal armour has not been used by you. 

2. Now that you did not file the case of cheque bounce, you can file a case for cheating and breach of trust in the court against the builder. 

3. Simultaneously, you can file a case for recovery of the amount including the interest and compensation against the builder. 

4. You cannot file the case in the consumer forum. It has to be filed in the court of District Civil Judge.

5. We cannot tell what the fees of your lawyer would be.

6. You do not have to appear in the court on every hearing as the appearance of your lawyer shall suffice.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18088 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0
1. Legally speaking, you do not need a lawyer for the consumer forum, but practically the substantive law followed by the consumer forum is the same as the civil court. You will be at a loss of words when the lawyer for the builder would make his arguments. So engage a lawyer lest you fail due to shoddy representation. Adopt a pragmatic and not a theoretical approach. 

2. As mentioned earlier, you cannot possibly move the consumer forum in this case as teh registration has been made.
Ashish Davessar
Advocate, Jaipur
18088 Answers
448 Consultations
5.0 on 5.0

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