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Consumer panel issues warrant to Unitech MDs over absence at hearings

Pankaj Chandgothia, president, Consumer Courts Bar Association, said defaulters are liable to be summoned and punished in line with Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which provides for punishment of up to three years imprisonment and fine

CHANDIGARH: The UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh, headed by president justice (retired) Jasbir Singh, issued bailable warrants against Ajay Chandra and Sanjay Chandra, managing directors of Unitech Ltd for non-compliance of orders.

Complainants Jaswinder Kumar and his wife, Urmila Rani, of Sector 50, Chandigarh, filed a complaint against Unitech alleging that the complainants were jointly allotted a residential unit in the executive floors of Uniworld City in Sector 97, Mohali, at a total price of Rs 50,99,300. The company promised that possession of plots would be given by February, 2012. But when the complainant visited the site, there was no sign of development.

The complainant paid Rs 31,74,000, more than 50 per cent of the price, to the company. In their reply, company representatives said they could not hand over possession of the unit due to the global economic meltdown as foreign investors had refrained from investment. The company replied it was facing extreme financial hardship due to recession in the realty market and these circumstances were beyond their control.

The Commission directed Unitech to refund Rs 31,74,000 to the complainants at interest of 9 per cent per annum. It was also directed to pay Rs 1 lakh compensation for causing mental agony and physical harassment and legal costs of Rs 10,000.

When the complainants did not get a refund, an execution petition was filed, in which a show-cause notice was issued to company directors. The company promised to pay the amount in monthly installments of Rs 10,00,000 each from July 31, 2015. However, only Rs 15,00,000 was paid and the undertaking was violated. Consequently, the Commission directed the MDs of the Company to be present in Court on September 14 and October 1. However, every time, excuses were given made to explain their absence.

When no company director appeared on Wednesday and no payment was made, the Commission issued bailable warrants against both managing directors. SSP, Chandigarh has been directed to appoint senior officers to execute warrants at the given address or another place. He has also been directed to conduct "repeated raids" to execute warrants and ensure their presence before the commission on November 2.

Pankaj Chandgothia, president, Consumer Courts Bar Association, said defaulters are liable to be summoned and punished in line with Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, which provides for punishment of up to three years imprisonment and fine.

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Realty Trends

Home prices near most-affordable levels in over 30 years: HDFC

Home prices may have been on an upward spiral for many years, but the cost of owning a house in India remains near the most affordable level in over three decades, shows data compiled by mortgage giant HDFC Ltd.

The average price of a home, purchased with a housing loan, rose to over Rs. 45 lakh in the 2012-13 fiscal year -- marking the fourth consecutive year of uptrend from about Rs. 25 lakh in the year 2008-09, HDFC has said in a presentation.

However, factors like an even greater surge in the personal income levels, tax incentives and lower interest rates, have resulted into houses becoming more affordable to purchase, it said.



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India Property Investment Gyan

Major schemes for affordable housing to be modified: Girija Vyas

NEW DELHI: Major schemes meant for providing affordable housing to urban poor will soon be modified to make them more people-friendly, the government said today and invited the private sector to contribute more actively in this area. 

Speaking to reporters here, Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation (HUPA) ministerGirija Vyas today said her ministry is modifying all the major schemes including the Rajiv Awas Yojana (RAY), Rajiv Rinn Yojana and the, Affordable Housing in Partnership scheme and added enormous budgetary support has been earmarked during the current plan period. 

Secretary HUPA Arun Kumar Misra told reporters that a fund of Rs 35,000 crore had been allocated to the ministry for the implementation of three major schemes, including RAY, which was being run in as a pilot project earlier under 12th five- year plan. 

He said the ministry would require approval from the cabinet for the implementation of these schemes and efforts would be made that through these funds 2 million affordable houses are encouraged. 

He said that in addition to the central government funds, banks and credit institutions would be providing funds for construction of affordable houses. 

Vyas said that with urbanisation, the number of urban homeless and area under slums had grown. 

Vyas said there was a need for private developers to develop economic models to foster affordable housing for economically weaker sections and lower income group households in urban areas as government efforts in this direction needed to be supplemented. 

Vyas also said a technical group, set up by her ministry, had shown that out of 18.78 million housing shortage in the country, 96 percent shortage is in EWS and LIG category and for this huge investments and private sector participation were required. 

Misra said the group set up by the ministry has suggested incentives for the affordable housing sector included concessions to development-related charges and service taxexemptions. 

It also sought direct tax rebates for affordable housing projects and inclusion of the sector in the 'infrastructure facility' he said and added the task force had felt that governments need to still provide direct capital grant support to affordable housing projects. 

Misra said that in the symposium held today where states, experts and private sector representatives were present, there was unanimity on many of the suggestions.

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Green Property- Eco Homes

Reclaim your city space: Projects in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata aim to transform lives

Three projects in three cities aim to transform the lives of people who live close by. The one in Mumbai hopes to transform a congested area into a green precinct; the one in Delhi converted an open drain into a walkway, while Kolkata hopes to bring the crowds back...