CPR – Consumer Protection Reporter

By S.R. Agrawal & Anup Kaushal, Advocate

 

Consumer cannot protest if he had willingly accepted alternate site. The complainant was allotted an alternate site which he accepted. Complaint was filed claiming damages from the authority. From the records it was clear that the complainant had accepted the second allotment willingly. (S.Kesavulu Naidu v. The Bangalore Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 625)


Person who applies for allotment in a scheme is a consumer

The National Commission laid down that the complainant had paid for the cost of the application form as well as the registration fee. A person who applies for allotment of a building site or for a flat constructed by the development authority or enters into an agreement with a builder or a contractor is a potential user and nature of transaction is covered in the expression ‘service of any description’. (Tamale Nada Housing Board v. A.V. Ramkrishnan – 1995 (1) CPR 523)


Purchaser is not a consumer


The transaction of the plot was not one of the allotment as part of the scheme for providing housing facility to the public, but one of the outright sale of immovable property in an auction. Complaint dismissed as not maintainable. (Geeta Gupta v. Delhi Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 118)


Communication sent at wrong address is deficiency


The respondent stated that the allotment was cancelled due to default and failure to take possession as intimated by them. The complainant was awarded Rs 30,000/- as compensation besides refund of the total amounts paid by the complainant with interest @ 18% p.a. from the date of the respective deposits and costs. (S.K. Singhal v. Vice Chairman, Ghaziabad Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 402)


Concealment of relevant information makes the allottee liable for cancellation


The application for voluntary retirement of complainant was disallowed but the complainant did not tell this fact to DDA and accordingly a flat was allocated to him under the retired persons quota and he paid the installments as required. As the complainant could not furnish retirement certificate allotment was cancelled. The complaint was dismissed on this ground itself. (K.C.Jain v. Delhi Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 138)


Delay in delivery of possession is deficiency


(Priyadarshansheel v. Secretary, Rajasthan Housing Board – 1995 (1) CPR 61) in which case it was held that the Board was negligent in taking up such a project and then not informing the complainant about the stay order from the High Court but all the time accepting the installments towards the finance of the flat. The complainant was awarded refund with 18% interest on the deposits made by him from the date of respective deposits till realisation thereof. (Lucknow Development Authority v. Manorama Sachan – 1995 (1) CPR 231)
(Delhi Development Authority v. N. Anand Rao – 1995 (1) CPR 119) (Rajasthan Housing Board v. Narendra Singh Choudhary – 1995 (1) CPR 475) in which case the respondent was using it as its Goodman. Compensation of Rs. 50,000/- was granted for six years of delay.


(Delhi Development Authority v. S. Bhattacharya – 1995 (1) CPR 139)
(Rajasthan Housing Board v. Basant Kaur – 1995 (1) CPR 144) (Indore Development Authority v. Smt. Sindhu Sudhakar Mendke – 1995 (1) CPR 679) The authority will not be entitled to recover the surcharge on additional premium and the lease money as it delayed delivery of possession even after the flat was completed. (R.V.Venkataswamiah v. The Commissioner, Mysore Urban Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 296)
(Lucknow Development Authority v. Shiv Baran Singh – 1995 (1) CPR 664) (M/s. Aradhna Steels v. M/s. Regency Industries Ltd., - 1995 (1) CPR 140)


(Saeed Mustafa Shervani v. M/s. Regency Industries Ltd., - 1995 (1) CPR 141)
(Mrs. Asha Kumar v. M/s. Skipper Builders Pvt.Ltd. – 1995 (1) CPR 257)
(Skipper Bhavan (22 Barakhamba Roads Flat Buyers Association) v. M/s. Skipper Sales (Pvt.) Ltd. – 1995 (1) CPR 784)


Deliberate delay to force the allottees to pay more is deficiency (Sanjay Nagar Residents Welfare Association v. The Vice Chairman, Ghaziabad Development authority - 1995 (1) CPR 7632) (General Consumer Protection and welfare Association v. Ghaziabad Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 643)
- Existence of defects in construction at the time of delivery is deficiency (Goparaju Vidyasagar v. Duggirala Sushila – 1995 (1) CPR 49)


- (Mrs. Gowramma v. Bangalore Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 181)
- (M/s. Orange City Builders P.Ltd. v. Sanjay Bhaskar Gawai – 1995 (1) CPR 670)
- (Pushpa Pathania v. Rajasthan Housing Board – 1995 (1) CPR 239)
- Failure to deliver possession for want of statutory permission is deficiency (Shant H. Chipalkatti vs. VGP Housing (P) Ltd., -1995 (1) CPR 3)


- (Dr. Atul Verma v. Gwalior Vikas – 1995 (1) CPR 75)
- (M/s. Vijay Jyoti Housing Pvt.Ltd. v. Rajinder Pal Singh Lamba - 1995 (1) CPR 91)
- Payment of installments is co-extensive with the progress of construction (Kanwal Khanna v. Ansal Properties & Industries (P) Ltd. 1995 (1) CPR 93)


Employee in service occupation is a consumer


State of Rajasthan while allotting various categories of houses to its employees does render service for consideration and any person who hires or avails of this service for consideration is a consumer.(Executive Engineer, PWD vs. Gopal Das – 1995 (1) CPR 20)


Charging for excessive super area is deficiency


The words ‘approximate’ referred in the agreement could only mean a difference of a few feet and not 25 to 30% of the agreed area as super area. This arrangement by the builder is an unfair trade practice. (Dr. Raghubir Singh Jain v. Ansal Housing & Construction Ltd., - 1995 (1) CPR 98)
(Suresh Kumar Malani v. Pearl Developers P.Ltd. – 1995 (1) CPR 408)
(P.Ramakrishnan v. M/s. Mahalaksmi Land & finance Co. (P) Ltd. – 1995 (1) CPR 100)
(Harcharan Singh v. Bhanot Properties - 1995 (1) CPR 130)
Consumer cannot claim the parking area he had already given up
Complainant failed to produce the approval plan of construction to show that in the matter of parking spaces the respondent had committed any deficiency in service. (Srichand K.Bajaj v. S.M.N. Consumer Protection Council – 1995 (1) CPR 769)


Giving lesser area than that which is stipulated in the agreement is deficiency


Held, there is shortcoming in the manner of performance which was required from the Board in pursuance of the contract between the parties. (M.P. Housing Board v. Dr. Suresh Sharma – 1995 (1) CPR 84)
(Sarika Griha Nirman Samiti., Gwalior v. Akhlesh Dixit – 1995 (1) CPR 156)
Failure to execute sale deed is negligence
Directions were issued to transfer and execute the sale deed in respect of the complainant’s 1/35th undivided share in the composite property besides Rs. 1500/- as costs . (P.R. Mansukhani v. M/s. Comfort Homes - 1995 91) CPR 803)
Negligence must be proved to claim compensation (Rajni Bhatnagar v. Gwalior Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 759)


Additional demand has to be explained


The Board had no justification to raise the further demand. Admittedly the cash down was paid in instalments as and when the housing building advance was released to the complainant. Therefore the imposition of penalty was not questionable. The Board was further directed to register a conveyance deed in favour of the complainant on receipt of the requisite stamp duty Rs. 5000/- was granted as compensation (Satish Popali v. Executive Engineer, Housing Board – 1995 (1) CPR 569)
Customer has to pay floor-wise price fixed by the authority (P.N.Bhargava v. DDA – 1995 (1) CPR 132)


Interest cannot be imposed arbitrarily


As regards interest the respondent could not establish under what provision it had imposed interest. The interest so paid was directed to be refunded with interest @12% p.a. from the date of the deposit till payment thereof (Harbans Lal Malhotra v. Vice Chairman, Delhi Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 108) (Wg. Cdr. Anil Roy v. Chairman, Bangalore Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 299)
(Naresh Chand Jain v. State of Delhi – 1995 (1) CPR 113) The complainant did not deposit the instalment on time on the ground that the flat allotted to him was not in the area he had opted for. The registration was cancelled. Complaint was dismissed as the flat could not be restored to the complainant.


Pricing of flats cannot be adjudicated by consumer forums


Under the Consumer Protection Act the pricing policy cannot be challenged after the allottee has taken possession of the house. The question of pricing of the flat by Housing Authority or Board is not a consumer dispute. If any amount is illegally charged by the Housing Authority or Board Forum for the consumer is to recover it from the Housing Board through a Civil Court. (Housing Board, Harlan v. Karat Singh – 1995 (1) CPR 269)
Provisional allotment does not envisage final cost
After issuance of the provisional allotment letter the complainant was able to raise housing loan which was paid to the Board on 27.3.1989. Allotment cum possession letter was issued on 20.4.1989. Thus the complainant was bound to pay the premium of the land and the cost of construction as worked out on the date of allotment dated 20.4.1989. (Babu Lal Gupta vs. Rajasthan Housing Board – 1995 (1) CPR 12)
Board is liable to give the same rate of interest which it charges from its defaulters (Niranjan Kumar Dosi v. Rajasthan Housing Board – 1995 (1) CPR 472)
Board is not liable if refund is made within time (Haryana Urban Development Authority v. Kailash Devi – 1995 (1) CPR 840)
Customer is to be compensated if his file is misplaced (Rajasthan Housing Board v. Shakuntala Vajpayee – 1995 (1) CPR 122)


Delay inspite of order form the High Court is deficiency (The Spartaeous Co-operative Group Housing Society Limited v. Delhi Development Authority – 1995 (1) CPR 325)
Inaction by the consumer himself is not deficiency on the part of the authority (Ghaziabad Development Authority v. Vinod Kumar Bansal – 1995 (1) CPR 241)


Promoter is liable to refund the amount with interest


The construction project could not be launched and the respondent failed to repay the deposits. The promoter was directed to refund the amount of deposits with interest @ 18% p.a. from the rate of the respective deposits and costs Rs. 1000/-. (Public Sector Employees Welfare & Society – 1995 (1) CPR 473)
(Mrs. Rajam Subramanian v. REG Constructions – 1995 (1) CPR 757) Madras State Commission awarded 24% on the deposits besides compensation of Rs. 50,000/- and costs Rs. 2,000/-.