Completion certificate cannot be substituted; Pune Consumer Court

PUNE: The district consumer court has ruled that an occupancy certificate obtained without the consent of the flat owner cannot be substituted for a completion certificate in relation to a housing project.

The consumer court has sentenced Sajid Ismail, proprietor of Allied Constructions in Kondhwa Khurd, to pay Rs 10,000 fine within a fortnight for not fully complying with its order of February 24, 2011. The order required Ismail to hand over a completion certificate to the complainant, Renu Singh, owner of a flat in Allied Heights, Salunkhe Vihar Road.

“In case of failure to pay fine, Ismail will have to undergo a one-month simple imprisonment,” the bench of consumer court president V P Utpat and member O G Patil said in a ruling on Wednesday. Singh had initiated an execution proceeding against the builder under Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act. The same empowers the consumer court to try and sentence a person found guilty of not complying with its order.

Lawyer Laxman Jadhav, who represented Ismail, said: “We are in the process of complying with the consumer court’s latest order and have readied a demand draft of Rs 10,000 which will be submitted to the court on January 30.” The builder had produced on record an occupancy certificate issued by Pune Municipal Corporation while arguing, among other things, that he could not obtain a completion certificate because the complainant made illegal changes in the flat.

The complainant, however, pointed out that completion certificate and occupancy certificate were two distinct documents and that, the flat owner’s consent was not obtained for the occupancy certificate produced on record. The bench observed, “This forum had directed the accused/opposite party (builder) to handover completion certificate in respect of building. However, the builder has not produced any record to show that he has complied with the forum’s order.”

“It is also significant to note that the complainant (flat-holder) had never applied for an occupancy certificate. Hence, legitimate inference can be drawn that the alleged occupancy certificate is obtained by the builder without consent of flat holder and it cannot be substituted for completion certificate,” the bench said.

Credits ET Realty

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