New Delhi: Leading real estate firm Unitech Ltd has been held guilty of resorting to "unfair trade practice" by a consumer forum here and directed to pay a customer Rs 6.6 lakh for making "illegal demands" from him after he booked a flat with it and paid the booking amount.
The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, in its order, observed that the firm and its agent made "unjustified" demands from the customer and also threatened to forfeit his deposited money.
"The action of the Unitech Ltd and its agent in raising the illegal demands from time to time and then refusing to refund the booking amount is clearly unjustified and amounts to unfair trade practice by them.
"Accordingly we direct the firm and its agents jointly and severally to refund to the complainant the sum of Rs 5.5 lakhs along with a compensation of Rs 1,00,000 for physical and mental agony suffered and Rs 10,000 as the litigation cost," the forum said.
The bench presided by Rakesh Kapoor passed the order on a plea by Rohini resident Amrit Lal Chawla who said he had booked a flat for Rs 5.5 lakh in a residential project, Unitech Verve at Greater Noida, launched by the firm.
Chawla alleged the company sent letters arbitrarily increasing the rate of the flat from the initially agreed upon rate under the contract and when he cancelled the booking and asked for refund of his deposited amount from the company, it threatened to forfeit the same.
The forum observed that Unitech Ltd "failed to show as to how they had raised demands at higher rate than what was agreed upon" as it chose not to contest the complaint despite a notice.