The real estate industry has become the most important and flourishing industry in Kolkata in recent years. There are a large number of builders and developers in Kolkata because the demand for residential and commercial property is increasing day by day. This demand itself has created unfair practices between builders or developers and buyers. The main area of conflict between builders and buyers is the non-delivery of possession. There are many other malpractices which are complained against the builders or developers.
Any person who is the victim of the malpractices of the builders can get remedies such as:-
- He can go to civil court and file a suit against the builder or developer.
- He can make a complaint in the consumer forum.
- He can get justice in the Competition Commission of India.
- He can also go to Regulatory Forum.
- He has the power or right to file a criminal case in certain cases.
The Supreme Court has held that where the developer or builder commits malpractices such as breach of his obligations or agreement, the buyer who is known as allottee has right to file a civil case in the civil court or the forum under the Consumer Protection Act to get justice.
The Consumer Protection Act provides three-tier machinery such as District forum, State forum and National Commission. The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 provides protection against malpractices of the builders and developers.
Competition Commission of India:
The Competition Act, 2002 is the Act which provides to prohibit the use of dominance and to protect the consumers from malpractices. Any person who is the victim can file a suit before the Competition Commission of India.
Regulatory Forums & Criminal Case:
Any person who is the victim can file a case before the regulatory authorities and in case the builders make a false promise to the allottee then allottee can file a criminal case in a criminal court.
Different Defaults Committed by Builders and Developers and their Remedies:
- Substandard work:
i) If a builder uses sub-standard materials in the construction of a building or does any other malpractices then it is a denial of the facility and the allottee can claim value for it.
2. Fraud in booking:
In case of fraud in booking the allottee can file a civil case and also a criminal case and can also file a suit before the consumer forum.
3. Cancellation of booking:
After getting the booking amount if the builder cancels the booking then the allottee can file a complaint about a refund of the amount. And he can also file a civil case and a criminal suit against the builder.
4. Default in delivering possession:
When there is delay in delivery of possession, the allottee can file a complaint about a refund of the amount.
“In M.D. Bhoopathy & Others V/s Mrs Sarada & Another, the developers or the builders made an agreement with the allottee to construct apartment building and penthouses but they failed to put up the penthouse and made a breach of the agreement. In this case, it was observed that it amounted to negligence and deficiency of service.”
In recent days, the demand for residential and commercial property has increased and with that number of developers and builders also came into the market to fulfil the demand of the people. But it has increased many malpractices in the market in Kolkata. So, it is better to consult with the legal advisor before proceeding for such agreements.