NRIs who frequently return to India can purchase a house here: NCDRC


New Delhi: Directing the Supertech Ltd to pay around 64 lakhs to an NRI for denying possession of a flat, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (NCDRC) has said that Non-Resident Indians who frequently return to India can purchase a house here.

Supertech Ltd had denied possession of a flat in Greater Noida in Uttar Pradesh to South Delhi resident Reshma Bhagat and her NRI son Tarun Bhagat, who had booked the flat in 2008 and had made the payment of Rs 63,99,727.

The construction company was supposed to construct the flat and hand it over to the mother-son duo in 2009. The complainant approached the apex consumer commission seeking Rs 1.40 crore from the firm, including the interests and damages, after the firm failed to even construct the house.

The firm had opposed the complainant’s plea on the grounds that the flat was booked in the name of Tarun, who was an NRI. They also claimed that the complainant wanted to purchase the flat solely for earning profit and not for residing purpose, and hence he could be considered as ‘consumer’ himself.

Rejecting the firm’s contention, the apex consumer commission, presided by Justice J M Malik said: “It cannot be made a rule of thumb that every NRI cannot own a property in India. NRIs do come to India, every now and then. Most of the NRIs have to return to their native land. Each NRI wants a house in India. He (Tarun) is an independent person and can purchase any house in India, in his own name.”

The consumer commission has directed the firm to pay Rs 63,99,727 to the complainant.

NewsGram view: It is a good decision by the apex consumer commission as it allows many NRIs to invest in property, which would help them in future whenever they plan to settle in India. The move will also help family members of the NRIs who are still living in India and it will go a long way to further strengthen the emotional bond that NRIs have with their mother country.