NEW DELHI: In a major relief to homebuyers who purchased flats from original allottees but were not delivered the apartments, the Supreme Court on Thursday said a builder cannot deny their right to get possession within a reasonable period of time and that they are also entitled to get a refund of their money.

A bench of Justices U U Lalit, Hemant Gupta and S Ravindra Bhat said the rights of such purchasers are the same as that of original allottees.

“It cannot be said that a subsequent purchaser who steps into the shoes of an original allottee of a housing project in which the builder has not honoured its commitment to deliver the flat within a stipulated time, cannot expect any — even reasonable time — for the performance of the builder’s obligation.

Such a conclusion would be arbitrary, given that there may be a large number — possibly thousands — of flat buyers waiting for their promised flats or residences; they surely would be entitled to all reliefs under the Consumer Protection Act,” the court said.

The court ruled against a plea by the real estate company Laureate Builwell Pvt Ltd, which took the ground that the paid amount cannot be refunded as the purchaser is not the original allottee and he/she purchased the flat knowing that the project was getting delayed.


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