Court directs Sitar Maestro Ravi Shankar to pay builder  

This definitely is not music to the ears of Sitar maestro Pandit Ravi Shanker. A Delhi court has ruled against him in a five-year-old legal battle over payment dues against a company which built his prestigious music institute in Chanakyapuri. Tees Hazari Additional District Judge Dinesh Bhatt directed the renowned musician and his Trust to jointly pay Rs 15. 8 lakh to V.K. Constructions. The company, which began the construction for the Rs 2.69 crore Ravi Shanker Institute for Music and Performing Arts in July 1998, completed work in March 2003. While settling the bills, Rs 15.8 lakh was held back on the ground that certain defects needed to be set right. The company's lawyer, Richa Kapoor, told the court that the dues were not cleared even after they said defects were rectified. She said that the company sent repeated reminders and legal notices. But the musician and the Trust running the music institute took the stand that the dues were not paid as defects were not removed and so they were forced to engage the services of three other contractors for the purpose. But the court found that Ravi Shanker had not specified the defects and that the new contractors entrusted with the task had not been called in as witnesses in his support. "There is no evidence on record to prove as to the nature of defects left behind by plaintiff and if they were so grave to disentitle plaintiff (the builder) from payment. this therefore proves that all major defects were attended and removed by the plaintiff," the court said. An embarrassment
"In view of the findings, interest of justice would be met if plaintiff is further awarded interest at the rate of 6 per cent interest from the time of the filing of the suit till realisation", the court said.

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