Pay Rs 13 lakh accumulated rent to Divyangjan: Commission

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A senior citizen, who is also a Divyangjan, was directed to pay over Rs 13.35 lakh of accumulated rent with seven percent interest since 2014 by a district committee when the developer failed to deliver the same after receiving for the redevelopment of his building. The order also directed the developer to pay Rs 13,000 to the complainant for mental harassment and court costs within 30 days of the order for lack of service and unfair trade practices.

The order was passed on November 4, 2022, RG Wankhade (president) and SV Kalal (member) of Mumbai Suburban District Additional Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission on a complaint by Shyamsunder Jagdishprasad Sharma against M/s. Vibha Properties Pvt. Ltd., Principal Director, MHADA (Mumbai Board) and The Bharat Vaishali CHS Ltd.

Sharma, a senior citizen and Divyangjan were residing in Ghatkopar in a building which is on land belonging to MFADA. MHADA had given the land on lease for 99 years to The Bharat Vaishali CHS Ltd.

The complainant is a member of the company. Since the building was old, the job of demolishing it and having a new one with a rehabilitation component was given to Vibha Properties. An agreement was made with each person where the developer promised to give everyone a new flat with increased area and rent of Rs 13,000 per month till the new place is given. According to the agreement, the developer gave rent to the complainant regularly till June 2014. Thereafter, the rent was terminated and despite complaints and letters to the developer, MHADA, the housing department and his minister, no respite was given. The complainant had demanded Rs 13,000 as rent from July 2014 till date along with interest.

The complainant then approached the Commission where he sought rent, compensation for mental harassment and coverage of medical expenses incurred due to the harassment suffered, an increase in the amount of rent and court costs. Since the developer did not respond to the Commission’s notice, an order to move ex parte was passed in June 2022 and stated that there was no other alternative but to pass a contrary order. While Sharma gave evidence of having a flat and agreement with the developer, he did not press any charges against MHADA or the Society. He also did not provide any evidence of the illness he suffered due to non-payment of rent and the medical expenses he had to bear even though he sought compensation for it.

The commission observed that the rent should have been given as per the agreement and in a city like Mumbai, having to pay for the stay can be heavy on one’s budget and can cause mental trauma. It then ordered the developer to pay the complainant’s accrued rent and not fail to pay the monthly rent on time in the future.

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