In case of builders, failure to obtain necessary sanctions and approval from concerned authorities does not fall under force majeure

In a recent judgment, the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum held that the builder’s inability to obtain requisite permission for construction of flats is not a valid reason and does not justify delay in possession of flat and cannot be categorized as force majeure.

The said ruling was delivered in the matter of DLF Homes Panchkula Pvt. Ltd. vs. D.S. Dhanda, First Appeal No. 853 of 2016 and 15 other such appeals decided on 12.12.2018.


The Respondent/Complainant had filed a consumer complaint against the Appellant/Builder in 2016 with respect to a flat that was booked by the Complainant as per a Buyer’s Agreement dated 11.02.2011 wherein it was agreed upon by the parties that the possession of the said flat will be handed over within 24 months from the said agreement. The Complaint was filed on the ground that the failure to provide timely possession lead to financial loss to the Complainant. The said complaint was allowed by the Ld. State Commission vide order dated 02.06.2016. Hence, the present appeal was filed.


The Hon’ble NCDRC held that the State Commission was right in holding that there was deficiency in services on part of the Appellant. It was further fortified that the inability of the Appellant to deliver the possession on time cannot be justified by the fact that construction of site could not be completed on account of stay granted on construction activities by the Hon’ble Supreme Court between 19.04.2012 till 12.12.2012. It was reiterated that time is of the essence in such contracts therefore such difficulties cannot be terms as force majeure.