Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh has sentenced, Tejinder Singh Bhatia, Managing Director of Sukhm Infrastructures Private Limited, Chandigarh to undergo imprisonment of three years and pay fine of Rs. 10,000 each in two separate cases,
The orders were issued by the Commission for failing to comply with its orders dated December 10, 2015. The Commission has issued Non-Bailable Warrants against Bhatia for his arrest and production before the Commission on July 25, 2016 to undergo the sentence.
In an unprecedented move, the Commission has also convicted the Company and imposed a fine of Rs. 10,000 each on it, to be paid separately.
Earlier, Ashok Kumar Jain of Kalka had filed a complaint alleging that the company floated a scheme for allotment of residential, IT, ITES, Industrial plots under the name and style of “YellowStone Landmark Infocity” at Sector 66-A, SAS Nagar Mohali. The complainant booked an IT- Industrial Plot of 400 Sq. yds. by depositing Rs. 3.70 lakhs and Rs. 8.14 lakhs on January 5, 2011. The company also issued the allotment letter dated January 5, 2011 for the plot sold at basic Price of Rs. 29.60 lakhs.
Pankaj Chandgothia, counsel for the complainant contended that the development was to be completed and possession to be offered within 18 months, otherwise penalty of Rs. 12 per sq. yd. per month was to be given. Even the Buyer’s Agreement did not contain the Plot number, which amounts to unfair trade practice, said Chandgothia.
Chandgothia pointed out that the builder has indulged in unfair trade practice, from the very start, as they have taken huge sums of money even though there was no concrete scheme or licence or land available with the company for the intended project. Such pre-launch offers and bookings do not stand the scrutiny of law, legal validity or any sanctity.
The complaint was allowed vide orders dated December 10, 2015 on the basis of compromise statement of Tejinder Singh Bhatia. As per the orders, the company was to pay Rs. 30.14 lakhs alongwith interest at the rate of 12 percent per anumn and Rs. 50,000 as compensation. The total amount of around Rs. 50 lakhs was to be paid in four equal monthly installments, first of which was to be paid on or before March 10, 2016 by Demand Draft.
The orders also said that in case of failure to comply, the entire amount deposited by the complainants shall be returned with interest at the rate of 15 percent per annum plus compensation of Rs. 3 Lakhs.
The company in its reply stated that the Income Tax Department had seized the account of the company due to which no payment could be made. The Commission in its order noted that the Company did not produce any such order. The commission headed by Justice (Retd) Jasbir Singh said that the company was taking false pleas to defeat the rights of the complainants.
The Commission held that for the default of the Company, its Directors can be held personally liable.
Similar orders were also passed in another case of Manbir Singh Sethi of Sector 19 D Chandigarh.