The Karnataka State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission has directed a private property development and construction firm to executive sale deeds in favour of three persons who had bought flats in its ‘Alpine Viva’ apartment project within 45 days with all the facilities promised at the time of booking.

If it failed to hand over possession within 45 days, the commission said Alpine Housing Development Corporation Ltd. would have to refund the entire amount paid by the three complainants with 18 per cent interest per annum from the date of receipt of payments.

In its order, the commission’s Bench, comprising its president K. Ramanna and member G.T. Vijayalakshmi, also directed the firm to pay Rs. 15,000 a month to each one of the complainants as rent incurred by them with retrospective effect from July 2009, which amounts to about Rs. 7 lakh each.

The commission passed the orders on complaints filed in 2009-10 by Neeraj Bhope and his wife; Bharatha Lakshmi Vetsa and her husband; and Souvik Khamrau, who could not get possession of flats even two years after the agreed deadline for registration of the flats and handing over possession.

The project was scheduled to come up on land bearing Survey No 139 in Segehalli village, Bidarahalli hobli near Whitefield. But the flats were not registered in their favour.

Mr. Bhope and Ms. Vetsa booked their flats in 2006 and the firm promised to deliver the flats by July 2007. In Mr. Khamrau’s case, he booked the apartment in 2007 and was to get possession by July 2008. All the complainants had paid major portions of the sale value by availing themselves of loans from banks.

However, the firm contended before the commission that there was a provision for extending the deadline for handing over possession due to circumstances beyond its control. The firm claimed that increase in the cost of construction material and issues related to land acquisition caused the delay.

The firm contended that the land was notified by Bangalore Development Authority (BDA) for its Peripheral Ring Road (PRR) project, and the BDA had, in 2008, directed the firm to stop construction work.

It was only in 2010 that Survey No 139 was excluded from acquisition for the Peripheral Ring Road, and the firm said that the complainants were aware of this.

However, the commission held that the firm, which was aware of the BDA’s acquisition proceedings much earlier, had not informed the complainants about the acquisition proceedings. Now, if the firm fails to hand over possession within 45 days from the date of receipt of the order, it will have to pay Rs. 34.78 lakh, Rs. 46.01 lakh and Rs. 38.73 to Mr. Bhope, Ms. Vetsa and Mr. Khamrau respectively, with 18 per cent interest.