10 years after senior citizen denied cottage, Consumer Commission directs private Trust either cottage or refund of money with interest

Ten years after a private Trust and a private individual did not build a cottage after taking ₹16 lakh from a 75-year-old man, the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission recently directed them to either hand him the possession of the cottage or refund the money with 12% interest.

Senior Citizen Trust, a registered entity under the Bombay Trust Act, introduced a scheme namely, ‘Senior Citizen’s Village’ which was to be implemented in Poi village in Raigad district’s Karjat taluka. The scheme specifically stated it is for senior citizens for the development of cottages of around 500 to 750 square feet on land which was owned by Ganpat Jadhav.

In 2013, Vijaykumar Deshpande, 75, resident of Dombivali, Kalyan taluka, Thane district booked a cottage and paid ₹1 lakh to the Trust as booking amount. Soon, there was no communication from the Trust. Upon inquiry, he learnt that if he paid ₹16,50,000, his cottage would be completed in 12 months. Mr. Deshpande paid the said amount and entered into an agreement on stamp paper. However, there was no progress on the cottage and Mr. Deshpande was convinced that he was given false assurances.

He then sent a complaint notice to Mr. Jadhav and the Trust, and sought a refund of the entire amount with 15% interest from 2013 to 2018, the time of moving before the Commission.

President S.P. Tavade and judicial member A.Z. Khwaja held, “Vijaykumar Jadhav and Senior Citizen Trust have committed deficiency in service as well as unfair trade practice.”

The Commission directed both the defaulting parties to either peacefully handover possession of a fully constructed cottage of 750 square feet to Mr. Deshpande or pay ₹16,50,000 along with 12% interest along with ₹1 lakh for mental and physical harassment and ₹25,000 as costs of litigation.

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