NRI to receive Rs 8 million compensation from truant developer

The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chennai, has directed a Coimbatore property developer R. Rajaram, managing director of Sri Renga Property Developers Pvt Ltd to pay US NRI couple Sajan Thandasery and his wife Madhulatha Dharma a compensation of Rs.83 lakhs, including a refund of Rs.72.52 lakhs, for failing to construct a flat even after collecting the entire amount in advance. The couple availed a home loan of Rs.40 lakhs from ICICI Bank, Coimbatore and paid an advance of Rs.10 lakhs to the company. Their power of attorney Suraj Tandasserry, Sajan's brother, entered into an agreement with the company in 2008. As per the construction agreement the developer proposed to accept the transfer of funds in a phased manner. ICICI Bank however released Rs.40 lakhs, the entire loan amount to the company in advance. The company was to complete construction and hand the property over to the couple, but later informed them of their inability to proceed with the project. The NRI couple then filed a petition before the Commission seeking a direction to the company to refund Rs.74.52 lakhs with interest towards the loss of rental income and Rs.11 lakhs for causing mental agony and hardship. The Commission said Sri Renga Property Developers cannot shirk their responsibilities and liabilities on a false pretext and directed the company to refund Rs.72.52 lakhs to the complainants and pay Rs.10.50 lakhs for causing them financial loss and mental agony.