Falcon Bhotania failed to construct Nu 1M bungalows, as promised

Thukten Zangpo

Six people, who invested in a private firm, Falcon Bhotania, after it made grand promises to construct a bungalow for Nu 1 million (M) in three months, have taken the firm to court.

The company advertised its promises through mainstream media, including television and social media, over a year. It stated that it is a subsidiary of Thuenlam Private Limited and is committed to construct affordable homes for Bhutanese.

The six people who invested in the company paid advances ranging from Nu 350,000 to Nu 1M for the construction, but they had to take the company to court after it refused to construct the houses.

Thimphu dzongkhag court’s civil bench rendered the judgments earlier this year, ordering the company to refund the advances with interest. The court found Falcon Bhotania guilty of being in breach of a contractual agreement.

However, only two clients have received refunds for the advance payment. Four clients have yet to receive their advances.

According to the judgments, a client, Jigme Choden, paid more than Nu 1M to the company, but had to take the company to court in April this year after it failed to construct the house, or to refund the money.

When she persisted with the company to return the money, she was paid only Nu 200,000.

The May 20 judgment ordered the company to pay Nu 893,472, inclusive of the interest of 10 percent for two months and 16 days to the client within three months.

Another client, Wangmo, also paid more than Nu 1M on April 25 of last year to construct a two-storied bungalow in Thimthrom. The bungalow was to be completed within four months.

The company laid the foundation of the construction, but there was no progress after that.

Both parties agreed that Nu 300,000 was invested in laying the foundation and the company has to pay the remaining amount of Nu 833,959, inclusive of the interest.

Another client, Dorji Wangmo, paid Nu 360,000 to the company on May 11 last year. She got a refund of only Nu 50,000.

She filed the case with the court after waiting for a year and the court ruled that the remaining balance of Nu 310,000 should be repaid within three months, effective July 15, 2021, with an interest rate of five percent.

In another case, a client, Chandra Kumar Chettri, paid a Nu 500,000 advance to the owner of the company in October last year to construct a bungalow at Wangbama, Thimphu.

According to the judgment, the company had brought metal rods and 80 bags of cement worth Nu 42,456 to the construction site.

The court ruled that the real estate company must pay the remaining Nu 457,544 within three months, effective July 1, 2021.

Two clients, Cheki Wangdi, who paid Nu 442,900 to construct a bungalow in Yangchenphug and Tshering Dorji, who paid Nu 350,000 to construct a bungalow in Bjemina, got full refunds of their advances.

Meanwhile, Falcon Bhotania’s proprietor, Pema Gyeltshen, 40, from Thoedtsho in Trashiyangtse, then claimed that he has a dedicated team of qualified, experienced, and reliable engineers to construct houses.

While advertising for the bungalow construction, he claimed they would provide consultation services, free drawings, process the construction approvals, and make financial arrangements, along with a 70 years warranty, one year of free insurance, and three years of free maintenance.

In the court submissions, he claimed he could not construct the houses because of the pandemic, but many Bhutanese cautioned netizens when the construction was advertised on social media.

Edited by Tashi Dema