New Delhi: Eighty-year-old Kaushalya Devi and her late husband, had booked a flat in Delhi in 1995 with Ansal Housing and Construction Limited (AHCL).
They had paid 10 per cent of the total amount at the time of booking. Subsequent payments were construction linked and AHCL had agreed to handover the flat by 1999.
But, the nightmare began soon after. Kaushalya Devi alleges, that though they had paid over Rs six lakh against a total of nearly Rs 10 lakh to AHCL over a period of 10 years, there was hardly any sign of construction.
She says, when AHCL refused to refund their money - saying that they were entitled to forfeit part of the money as per the agreement – she and her husband, were forced to go to the consumer court.
After 11 long years, the octogenarian, who lost her husband on the way, has finally won the battle.
“I am very happy with the decision given after 11 years and I think that if Dr sahib (her husband) was alive, he would have been very happy too. But it's God's wish,” she says.
In its order, the state commission held that a contract has to be read as a whole. A service provider cannot choose a term, which is to his advantage, and ignore the other terms.
"The state commission has clearly indicated that the terms of the contract cannot be read one-sided. The contractor cannot be heard to say that he will like to forfeit the amount, although he has not been able to build the building as per time prescribed under the contract," says
Supreme Court advocate, S K Sharma.
When contacted, AHCL said they were not satisfied with the state commission's decision, and will appeal before the national commission against it.