Unitech Resorts Ltd was today directed by the Supreme Court to refund Rs 15 crore to 39 home buyers in its Gurgaon project, saying a property developer must respect the contractual commitment and live up to the terms of the contract.
The apex court while directing Unitech Resorts Ltd to deposit Rs 2 crore in four weeks with Supreme Court registry said the firm by “delaying or procrastinating” the completion of the flats cannot base its stand on “excuses or any subterfuge” to advance the stand that constructions take time.
“It needs no special emphasis to state that the property developer has to respect the contractual commitment. It has to live up to the terms of the contract and gain trust so that the people who dream of houses can repose faith in him. Not for nothing, it has been said, ‘the foundation of any economy is faith and if faith is lost, everything is lost’.
“True it is, there is a saying, ‘Rome was not built in a day’ but it is in the realm of metaphor,” a bench of Justices Dipak Misra, Amitava Roy and A M Khanwilkar said.
The bench noted that Rs 16.55 crore was deposited by the 39 home buyers who had booked flats in Unitech Vista project in sector-70, Gurgaon and are before the court.
It also noted that the company has deposited Rs 15 crore with apex court registry in compliance with an earlier order.
“As Rs 15 crore has been invested and some interest has accrued, let the same be given to the respondents (home buyers) on pro rata basis on proper identification by the counsel.
“The appellant company is directed to deposit a further sum of Rs 2 crore within four weeks hence,” the bench said and posted the matter for further hearing on January 11, 2017.
The apex court said, “the appellant (Unitech) by delaying or procrastinating the completion of the flats cannot base its stand on excuses or any subterfuge to advance the stand that the constructions take time”.
The apex court clarified that the aspect of interest and compensation payable to the home buyers for the delay in giving the flats on part of the company will be deliberated at a later stage.