A builder has begun sending legal notices to homebuyers, who have been protesting against project delays and poor amenities in flats, for ‘damaging their reputation’.
He sent the notices, seeking a compensation of Rs 10 crore for ‘losses in finances and respect in society’ and lawyer’s fee of Rs 11,000, to homebuyers of Nirala India in Greater Noida.
Several buyers in Noida and Greater Noida protest against project delays and change in the original building plan on weekends. The delivery of several houses has been delayed by over 2-3 years. Merely a handful of builders have delivered the flats on time and without any discrepancy.
On August 23, the counsel of Nirala India sent legal notices to the protesting homebuyers. The protesters had created a WhatsApp group to discuss the discrepancies in the society.
The builder’s project - Nirala Aspire - is in Greater Noida West. Those, who have received the notices, are no longer protesting on weekends and have stopped their social media activism.
In the notice, the builder’s counsel has said, “...you the addressee just to malign the reputation of my client and with some ulterior motive (s) is defaming my client in the said WhatsApp group thereby creating mockery of my aforementioned client (sic) .”
“That by your this act my client has not only suffered physically and monetary loss in his life but also has suffered defamation in the society...”
The homebuyers’ association said it was an attempt to muzzle them.
“The homebuyers were protesting against the broken promises of the builder. They criticised him on social media platforms. This is not a crime,” said Abhishek Kumar, president, new era flat owners’ association (Nefowa).
Nirala India’s owner Iftikhar Ahmad said, “They are not letting us finish the work. I had no option left but to serve a legal notice,” said Ahmad.