The Chandigarh Housing Board has been penalised by the UT Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum for not refunding the amount with interest to the complainants, who had deposited Rs 70,000 each to book a flat under the Self Financing Housing Scheme for UT employees.
Raj Kumar and Umed Singh, residents of Dhanas and Police Colony Sector 26 booked a flat in response to the ‘Self Financing Housing Scheme 2008’ for employees of Chandigarh Administration and deposited Rs 70,000 as earnest money by taking a loan from State Cooperative Bank, Sector 22. In the draw of lots against the scheme, held in November 2010, both the residents were unsuccessful, after which they asked the Chandigarh Housing Board to refund their money. To this, Chandigarh Housing Board assured the complainants that they will be frame a policy and take the decision in regard to the allotment of flats to all the unsuccessful employees.
Despite repeated requests made to the Chandigarh Housing Board to refund the money, it failed to consider the complaints. After delaying the process for five years, CHB refunded the earnest money of Rs 70,000 in 2013 but without any interest.
Putting forward the justification for not refunding the amount earlier before 2013, Chandigarh Housing Board said that the complainants had given an undertaking that their earnest money be retained and they would not claim any interest, therefore they are not entitled to any interest.
It was resolved at the Consumer Forum that Opposition party should not have retained the earnest money of the unsuccessful candidates even though they had given an undertaking, hence, the Chandigarh Housing was directed to pay the interest at the savings bank on the earnest amount submitted by the complainants along with Rs 30,000 each to the complainants as the compensation and the litigation cost.