Revisionary Powers of the National Consumer Commission – Section 21 (b) of the Consumer protection Act

 

Builders often drag flat purchasers through a series of litigation to discourage them from approaching courts. National Consumer Commission is discouraging such practice.

 

“Also, it is to be noted that the revisional powers of the National Commission are derived from Section 21 (b) of the Act, under which the said power can be exercised only if there is some prima facie jurisdictional error appearing in the impugned order, and only then, may the same be set aside. In our considered opinion there was no jurisdictional error or miscarriage of justice, which could have warranted the National Commission to have taken a different view that what was taken by the two Forums. The decision of the National Commission rests not on the basis of some legal principle that was ignored by the Courts below, but on a different (and in our opinion, an erroneous) interpretation of the same set of facts. This is not the manner in which revisional powers should be invoked. IN this view of the matter, we are of the considered opinion that that the jurisdiction conferred on the National Commission under Section 21(b) of the Act has been transgressed. It was not a case where such a view could have been taken, by setting aside the concurrent finding of two fora.

  

NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION

     NEW DELHI

 

REVISION PETITION NO.   1566    OF 2010
(From the order dated  30.10.2009   in Appeal No. 728/2009

of the State Commission,  Maharashtra)

 

M/s R.N.A. BUILDERS (NG)

Raja Bahadur Building,

28, Bombay Samachar Marg,

fort, Mumbai-400023.                                                          … Petitioner (s)

Versus

Shri Kalikant Mishra

R/0 F-75, Sagar Kiran,

ONGC Employees CHS Ltd.,

Navghar Road, Bhayander (E),

District Thane-401105.                                            … Respondent (s)

 

For the Petitioner      :        Mohd. Wasay Khan, Advocate      

For the Respondent  :        Mr. Nagaraj V. Hoskeri, Advocate

 

REVISION PETITION NO.   1567    OF 2010
(From the order dated  30.10.2009   in Appeal No. 729/2009

of the State Commission,  Maharashtra)


M/s R.N.A. BUILDERS (NG)

Raja Bahadur Building,

28, Bombay Samachar Marg,

Fort, Mumbai-400023.

Through Mr. Narender Gupta                                … Petitioner (s)

Versus

Shri Sujit Kumar Mishra 

Through his Attorney holder

Kalikant Mishra,

R/0 F-75, Sagar Kiran,

ONGC Employees CHS Ltd.,

Navghar Road, Bhayander (E),

District Thane-401105.                                            … Respondent (s)

 For the Petitioner                :        Mohd. Wasay Khan, Advocate 

 

BEFORE:

 

HON’BLE MR.JUSTICE  V.B. GUPTA, PRESIDING MEMBER

HON’BLE MR.SURESH CHANDRA, MEMBER
                                                                                                                  

Dated 05th July, 2011

 

ORDER

 

PER JUSTICE MR. V.B. GUPTA, PRESIDING MEMBER

 

          Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Mumbai, Maharashtra (For short ‘State Commission’) vide common order dated 30th October, 2009 disposed of two appeals (No. 728 & 729/2009) filed by respondents Kalikant Mishra and Sujit Kumar Mishra as issues involved in these appeals were common and the builder (i.e. petitioner) is also common.

  1. Respondent/Complainant (Kalikant Mishra) filed complaint (No. 390/2007) whereas respondent/complainant (Sujit Kumar Mishra) filed complaint (No. 398/2007) before District Consumer Forum, Thane, for not giving possession of two flats to them.  According to their complainants they had purchased flat no. 401 & 402 on 4th floor in “A” Wing in the building known as ‘NG VIKAS’ and each flat is measuring 379.88 sq. ft. in area.  Cost of flat no. 401 was Rs.8,24,600/-.  Accordingly, agreement for sale was registered on 25-04-2006.  As per complainant, he paid Rs. 5,50,000/- out of Rs.8,24,600/- to the O.P. as part consideration.  Complainant further submits that he approached O.P. and requested for possession of the flat after receipt of balance consideration amount.  However, O.P. failed to hand over the flat to the complainant.

  2. In case of flat no. 402, complainant paid entire amount of Rs.8,24,600/- to the O.P. in full and final settlement of the price.  In spite of having accepted full consideration amount, O.P. failed to hand over possession of flat no. 402 to the complainant. 
  3. Therefore, separate consumer complaints were filed by both
    respondents/complainants alleging deficiency in service on the part of the builder.

  4. O.P./petitioner filed its written statement and denied allegations of the complainants.  It pleaded that cost of flat no. 401 was fixed at Rs.8,24,600/- and cost of flat no. 402 was Rs.7,38,600/- and Rs.86,000/- was fixed by O.P. for providing extra amenities.  Out of Rs.86,000/-, complainant paid only Rs.46,403/- for the extra amenities and failed to pay the balance amount of Rs.46,403/- to the O.P.  it is further pleaded that complainant has not paid entire amount of the flat.  Therefore, possession of the flat was not handed over to the complainant since complainant was facing financial crises and had not paid balance amount to the O.P.  Therefore, there was no deficiency in service on the part of O.P.

  5. After considering documents and affidavits placed before it, District consumer Forum partly allowed the complaints and directed O.P. to refund amount of Rs.5,50,000/- together with interest @ 10% p.a. from 25-04-2006.  It further directed O.P. to pay Rs.7,000/- towards cost and Rs.25,000/- for mental agony in case of flat no. 401, in complaint (no. 398 of 2007).

  6. In case of flat no. 402, in complaint (No. 390 of 2007) District forum directed the O.P. to refund amount of Rs.8,24,600/- together with interest @ 10% p.a. from 05-05-2006.  It further directed O.P. to pay Rs.10,000/- towards cost and Rs.25,000/- for mental agony.

  7. Aggrieved by the order of District Forum, respondents /complainants filed appeals before the State Commission, which vide impugned order, allowed both appeals and ordered that Clause 2 & 3 of the operative part of complaint (No.390/2007) regarding refund of consideration amount be substituted as under:–

“Respondent/Org. O.P. is directed to hand over possession of the flat no. 402 on 4th floor, ‘A’ Wing in the building known as ‘NG VIKAS’ admeasuring 379.88 sq. ft. carpet area to the appellant.”

  1. Similarly, clause Nos. 2 & 3 of the operative part of complaint (No. 398/2007) regarding refund of consideration amount be substituted as under:–

“Respondent/Org. O.P. is directed to hand over possession of the flat no. 401 on 4th floor, ‘A’ Wing in the building known as ‘NG VIKAS’ respondent/Org. O.P. is directed to hand over possession of the flat no. 402 on 4th floor, ‘A’ Wing in the building known as ‘NG VIKAS’ admeasuring 379.88 sq. ft. carpet area to the appellant after accepting balance amount of consideration.

Rest of the order stands confirmed.”

 

  1. It has been argued by learned counsel for the petitioner that respondents have not paid the entire consideration of the flats in question and as such possession cannot be handed over.  Accordingly, there is no deficiency on the part of the petitioner.

  2. It is further argued that Respondents have made alternative prayer in their complaint seeking damages and as such possession of the flats cannot be handed over to them.

  3. On the other hand, it has been argued by learned counsel for respondents that there is no infirmity or legality in the impugned order passed by the State Commission.  Petitioner is bound to hand over the possession of flats to the respondents and respondent in complaint (No. 398/2010) is willing to pay the balance amount of consideration as agreed earlier.

  4. In paras (No. 4 to 7) of both complaints, respondents /complainants have taken specific pleas with regard to the payments made by them during different periods.

  5. In written statement filed by the petitioner, there is no specific denial with regard to the payments made by the respondents /complainants as mentioned in their respective complaint. 
  6. Under these circumstances, as there is no specific denial made by the petitioner, the payments as stated in the complaints shall be deemed to be admitted as correct, except that in complaint (No. 398/2007) respondent in categorical terms has stated that he is always ready and willing to pay the final consideration amount of Rs.2,74,100/- towards the purchase of the flat.  Moreover, there is nothing on record to show that except for the balance consideration amount as admitted by respondent in complaint (No. 398/2007) any other amount is due towards any of the respondents.

  7. State Commission in its impugned order observed:–

          “Perused the record and memo of appeal and we are finding that the order passed by the Forum below in each complaint is erroneous.  Appellant has purchased two flats from Respondent and paid total amount of consideration of Rs.8,24,600/- for flat no. 402 and agreed to pay balance amount of consideration in case of Flat No. 401.  However, O.P. failed to hand over possession of the flat to the complainant.  Forum below awarded refund of consideration amount along with interest @ 10% p.a.  However, appellant has filed present appeals for possession of both the flats as Forum below has awarded only refund of the amount.

 

            We perused copy of complaint, wherein appellant has prayed for possession of both the flats namely flat nos 401 & 402 ‘A’ Wing and ready to pay balance amount of consideration of the flat no. 401.  The real estate prices have been increased tremendously and the complainant/appellant herein will not be able to purchase flat at the same rate, what was prevailing in the year 2006.  Therefore, by allowing both the appeals, we direct the Respondent /org. O.P. to hand over possession of both the flats to the appellants after accepting the balance amount in case of flat no. 401.”

 

  1. Since, it is a case, where purchaser of flat in complaints (No. 390/2007) has paid the entire consideration and purchaser of flat in complaint (No. 398/2007) is ready and willing to pay the balance amount, the petitioner/builder cannot deprive them of their legal right to have possession of both flats.

  2. Petitioner/builder, in the present case “wants to have the cake and eat it too” as in one case, admittedly it has received the entire consideration whereas in other case, certain amount is due, which the purchaser is willing to pay.

  3. Thus, petitioner being the builder, is enjoying possession of both flats as well as substantial amount of considerations paid by the respondents.  On the other hand, both respondents after having paid full amount of consideration in one case and in the other case after having paid substantial amount of consideration, are still without any roof.

  4. In Narsingh Singh through LRs & Ors. Vs. Shanti Devi through LRs & Ors.2010 (115) DRJ 601.  Delhi High Court observed;

          “It is well settled that where two Courts below have given a concurrent findings of facts, this Court under Article 227 of the Constitution of India shall not disturb the findings even if there is some mistake committed in appreciation of some part of evidence.  Under Article 227, this Court does not correct the mistakes of law or mistakes of facts.  The intervention of the this Court under Article 227 has to be only in those exceptional cases where the fora below had either not exercised their jurisdiction or had acted beyond jurisdiction or had ignored the well-settled legal proposition and acted contrary to law.”

 

  1. Supreme Court in Mudigonda Chandra Mouli Sastry vs. Bhimanepalli Bikshalu and others, (AIR 1999 (SC) 3095) observed;

“It was also not open to the High Court in exercise of its revisional jurisdiction to have indulged in a reassessment of evidence and thereby interfered with the finding of the facts recorded by the two Courts below.”

 

  1. Recently, Supreme Court in Rubi (Chandra) Dutta vs. United India Insurance Co. 2011 (3) Scale 654 observed that;

“Also, it is to be noted that the revisional powers of the National Commission are derived from Section 21 (b) of the Act, under which the said power can be exercised only if there is some prima facie jurisdictional error appearing in the impugned order, and only then, may the same be set aside. In our considered opinion there was no jurisdictional error or miscarriage of justice, which could have warranted the National Commission to have taken a different view that what was taken by the two Forums. The decision of the National Commission rests not on the basis of some legal principle that was ignored by the Courts below, but on a different (and in our opinion, an erroneous) interpretation of the same set of facts. This is not the manner in which revisional powers should be invoked. IN this view of the matter, we are of the considered opinion that that the jurisdiction conferred on the National Commission under Section 21(b) of the Act has been transgressed. It was not a case where such a view could have been taken, by setting aside the concurrent finding of two fora.

 

  1. Such type of unscrupulous act on the part of petitioner/builder should be dealt with heavy hands who after grabbing the money from the purchasers enjoy and utilize their money but does not hand over the flats, on one pretext or the other.  Petitioner has made respondents run from one Fora to other Fora during last four years so that respondents cannot have any roof over their head and he (petitioner) can go on enjoying respondent’s money without any hindrance. 

 

  1. Since two Fora below have given detailed and reasoned orders which does not call for any interference nor they suffer from any infirmity or erroneous exercise of jurisdiction, in our opinion, the present petition is nothing but gross abuse of the process of law and the same is totally frivolous in nature, which is required to be dismissed with punitive cost of Rs. 1 Lakh (One Lakh).  Accordingly, we dismiss these petitions with cost of Rs. 1 lakh.

  2. Out of this cost, Rs.25,000/- each shall be paid to each of the respondent’s in these two petitions.

  3. Petitioner is directed to deposit the cost by way of cross cheque for a sum of Rs.50,000/- in the name of “Consumer Legal Aid Account” and two cheques in the sum of Rs.25,000/- each in the name of each of the respondents’ within four weeks from today.

  4. In case the costs are not deposited within the prescribed period, the petitioner shall be liable to pay interest @ 9% p.a. till realization. 
  5. The cost awarded to the respondents shall be paid to them only after the expiry of period of appeal or revision preferred, if any.

  6. Accordingly, both the revision petitions stand disposed of.

  7. List for compliance on 12-08-2011.

  Sd/-

……………………………J.

(V.B. GUPTA)

PRESIDING MEMBER

                                                                                                                                                                                        Sd/-

………………………………

(SURESH CHANDRA)

MEMBER

aj

 

Associate Member of Housing Society can be member of Managing Committee

Kalpit Mankikar

| TNN | Feb 2, 2015, 04.44 AM IST

 

MUMBAI:

In many old societies, senior citizens owned flats but would not show interest, and associate members were barred from participating in managing committee proceedings.


Section 2 (19) of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act says an associate member jointly holds a share of the society with others, but whose name is not first in the share certificate. Rule 56M of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Rules, 1961, and Section 2 (19) (b) of the Maharashtra Cooperative Societies Act, 1960, state an associate member can vote and participate in elections but cannot become an office-bearer of the society where his name appears as an associate member in the society register. 

 

The state cooperative election authority (SCEA) has clarified that a housing society’s associate members can be part of the managing committee. This will be a shot in the arm for old cooperative housing societies as more residents can participate in their housing complex’s affairs.

 

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/Associate-member-can-be-part-of-managing-panel/articleshow/46090740.cms

Representative Complaint on behalf of a large number of Consumers

 

In their order dt. 7 October 2016, The NCDRC has passed a detailed order  interpreting Section 12(1)(C) of the Consumer Protection Act, allowing home buyers who have invested in a project to be automatically made party to any case filed against a builder.

Referred to as a representative lawsuit, this can only be done if their interest, complaint or grievance is common to that of the person who has filed the complaint. The order applies to all new cases as well as old ones.

 

                    NATIONAL CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION
                                                                     NEW DELHI
 

 

 
                                             FIRST APPEAL NO. 166 OF 2016
           
(Against the Order dated 27/01/2016 in Complaint No. 586/2015 of the State Commission Maharastra)          

 

BEFORE:  
  HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE D.K. JAIN,PRESIDENT
  HON’BLE MR. JUSTICE V.K. JAIN,MEMBER
  HON’BLE DR. B.C. GUPTA,MEMBER

 

For the Appellant :  
Mr. S.K. Sharma, Advocate
Dr. Abhishek Atrey, Advocate

 

For the Respondent :
Mr. Nikhil Jain, Advocate Mr. Anshuman Nandi, Advocate


Dated : 07 Oct 2016

 ORDER
JUSTICE V.K. JAIN, MEMBER
         

 

 Link to the full order:

 http://cms.nic.in/ncdrcusersWeb/GetJudgement.do?method=GetJudgement&caseidin=0%2F0%2FFA%2F504%2F2016&dtofhearing=2016-10-07

Builder constructs illegal flat on car parking area and sells it


Builder constructs illegal flat on car parking area and sells it

 

The Maharashtra State Consumer Commission has ordered Shreekrishna Developers – a builder to pay to a buyer –  the complainant Rs 26 lakh, the 2012 (year of filing the complaint) value of a 525 sq feet flat in the vicinity. The buyer who had taken possession of the flat in 2005 after buying it for Rs 4.95 lakh, realized that anomaly after the society refused to induct him as a member.

“From perusal of the occupancy certificate, it is seen that after getting the occupancy certificate from the corporation, the opponent (Shreekrishna Developers) has constructed the flat without the sanction of the municipal corporation. Thus, there is a clear-cut deficiency in service on the part of the opponent who also adopted unfair trade practice by carrying out the unauthorized construction and allotting the same to the complainant,“ the Maharashtra State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission said.

The spot where the flat was constructed was to be used for parking. The space will now be handed back to the society .

The complaint was filed by flat purchaser Sunil Gade in 2012. Gade told the commission that after receiving a negative response from the society about his membership, he approached the builder. When he got no response from the builder, he issued a notice through an advocate in November 2011and requested the builder to regularise the flat from the Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) at its costs. Gade however, received a reply with the remark “not claimed“. In the commission, the builder submitted that Gade himself had chosen to stay on the ground floor. It contended that as the flat was constructed on Gade’s request and the possession had already been handed over, there was no deficiency in service.

The builder further stated that if Gade did not want to continue living in the flat, he could take back his entire payment along with interest and surrender the flat.

The full decision dt. 4 October 2016 is available at the following link:

file:///C:/Users/Eleena/Downloads/judgement2016-10-04.pdf

Non Judicial Stamp Papers do not have any Expiry Period – Supreme Court

NON JUDICIAL STAMP PAPERS DO NOT HAVE ANY EXPIRY PERIOD BEING USED FOR A DOCUMENT                                            Supreme Court

 


The Supreme Court has held that there is no expiry period  for use of Non Judicial Stamp Paper.

In this case, the Trial Court and the High Court have doubted the genuineness of the agreement dated 5.1.1980 because it was written on two stamp papers purchased on 25.8.1973 and 7.8.1978. The learned counsel for first respondent submitted that apart from raising a doubt about the authenticity of the document, the use of such old stamp papers invalidated the agreement, as the stamp papers used in the agreement of sale were more than six months old, they were not valid stamp papers and consequently, the agreement prepared on such ‘expired’ papers was also not valid.

Apex Court held that that the Indian Stamp Act, 1899 nowhere prescribes any expiry date for use of a stamp paper. Section 54 merely provide that a person possessing a stamp paper for which he has no immediate use (which is not spoiled or rendered unfit or useless), can seek refund of the value thereof by surrendering such stamp paper to the Collector provided it was purchased within the period of six months next preceding the date on which it was so surrendered. The stipulation of the period of six months prescribed in section 54 is only for the purpose of seeking refund of the value of the unused stamp paper, and not for use of the stamp paper. Section 54 does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months. The stamp papers do not have any expiry period. Section 54 does not require the person who has purchased a stamp paper, to use it within six months. Therefore, there is no impediment for a stamp paper purchased more than six months prior to the proposed date of execution, being used for a document.

Supreme Court of India  
Citation:(2008) 4 SCC 530:AIR 2008 SC 1541

 Thiruvengada Pillai vs Navaneethammal & Anr on 19 February, 2008

Bench: R. V. Raveendran, P.Sathasivam

 

Order of Consumer Forums – What happens if not complied with

 

A large number of cases are coming up in various Consumer Fora against the builders. They tend to take matters very lightly and tend to disobey them…..
I am reproducing an order of the State Commission, Maharashtra. The concerned builder was sent to jail for three years, unless he complies with the order before that……..

 

BEFORE THE HON’BLE STATE CONSUMER DISPUTES REDRESSAL COMMISSION,              MAHARASHTRA, MUMBAI

Execution Application No. EA/13/10 (Arisen out of order dated 3rd February, 2012 in CC/05/20)

  1. Manherlal C. Shah 47, Carnac Siding Road, Iron Market, Masjid Bunder (East), Mumbai 400 009. New Add:- 101A, Walkeshwar Road, 11, New Indrabhuwan, Near White House, Mumbai – 400006 …..                                                           Executant(s)

                                                                        Versus

1.     M/s. Siddhivinayak Builders (Proprietorship) Tulsi Tower, Second Floor, 51st Road, T.P.S. III, Borivali (West), Mumbai – 400 092. New Add – Benzer Tower, 2nd Floor, Near Sanskruti Enclave, 90ft Road, Next To IBPS, Borivali East, Mumbai 400101

2.      Mr Nitin N. Mehta (Partner of M/s Siddhivinayak Builders ) 1, Homestead, 16, Dattatryaya Road, Santacruz (W), Mumbai 54 New Add Benzer Tower, 2nd floor, Near Sanskruthi Enclave, 90ft Road, Next To IBPS Borivali E Mumbai ……………………………………………………………………………………….Opponent/Accused(s)

 

Mr. Justice A.P. Bhangale, President ….Heard Submission of both the sides on execution application u/sec 27 of Consumer Protection Act, 1986.

 

1. By final order complaint no. CC/05/20 was allowed and opponents were directed to deliver possession of Flat No.702, C- Wing, situate on 7th Floor, having carpet area of 732 sq.ft. in the building known as “Emerald Court to the complainant. While giving possession, occupation certificate was also to be ensured by the Opponents with supply of water and electricity and complainant was required to pay an amount of Rs.17,000/- in view of Clause 45 of the agreement dated 18/08/1997 as stated in Clause 4 of the judgment and award in the Complaint No.CC/05/20. At the time of receiving possession, the executant was and is ready and willing to pay the sum of Rs.17,000/- payable according to Clause 4 of the operative order. Compensation in the sum of Rs.1,00,000/- is payable by the opponent as per Clause 5 of operative part of the final order and litigation costs in the sum of Rs.10,000/- as per Clause 6. of the operative part of the final order.

 

2. In execution application in defence the opponents have stated that they (the opponent) cannot give possession of the flat (aforesaid flat) because the opponent sold the flat to third party. This cannot be valid excuse for non-compliance of the final order passed by this Commission. Ld.Advocate for the Opponents has sought to adduce some copies of documents to pray for time for compliance of final order, tried to show deed of rectification (phtostate copy), we are not impressed by such evasive submissions in respect of final order passed by us. Once order is made final, passed by the State Commission, it is duty of the 3/4 opponent to obey it and no such excuse can be pleaded which cannot be acceptable by any reasonable prudent person; the accused has to undergo jail custody. There is long standing tendency on the part of the builders/developers in city of Mumbai and Suburban areas to enter into agreement in respect of innocent flat purchaser and then to create interest in third parties, inter alia, with a view to avoid statutory obligations under Maharashtra Ownership of Flats Act, 1963 (‘MOFA’ in short). According to law we cannot accept any such excuse for non- obedience of the final order which was passed by us long back on 3rd February, 2012. When final order despite challenged in superior Forum or Court remains final there can be no excuse for non-compliance thereof by the opponents. Hence, once it is brought to our notice that final order is not yet obeyed deliberately though understood by the opponent. Possession of the flat is not given as directed, we have no other option to remand opponent/accused Mr. Nithin Mehta to imprisonment with a direction that until and unless final order is complied with the opponent/accused shall remain remanded to the jail custody and shall be sent to undergo imprisonment alike civil detenue in the jail.

 

  1. We make it clear that in the event opponent want to comply with the final order, reference be made to us through the Superintendent of Jail concerned and Complainant, if reports compliance of final order, we can immediately consider releasing the opponent/accused from detention. The jail custody shall continue for a period of three years maximum period unless and until final order is complied with by the opponents in view of Section 27 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986. 4/4 4. At this stage, the Ld.Advocate for the opponent/accused has filed an application for bail u/sec 389 of Cr.P.C. on the ground that Commission had taken up the matter for final hearing in the execution proceedings and directed detention of the opponent/accused to the jail custody until the compliance of the final order. Since, our order is self explanatory and since the opponent/accused disobeyed the final order despite the fact that the final order is not complied since long despite evidence recorded in execution proceedings as to whey final order remained disobeyed, no justification was found for deliberate disobedience of final order. Hence, we are not inclined to grant bail as prayed for because we will not suspend our aforesaid order as it would be sending wrong signal to opponent to continue to disobey the order and deprive of the consumers of their legal right. Hence, application is rejected. Certified Copy of the order be expedited. Order accordingly.

                                            [HON’BLE Mr.Justice A.P. Bhangale]                              PRESIDENT
[HON’BLE MR. Narendra Kawde]  MEMBER

   Pronounced Dated 13th June, 2016.

25 flat buyers kept hanging by builder for 22 yrs – get justice in two years

 

The Consumer Forums are taking a much needed tough stand against erring builders who think they are above the law and are resorting to all kinds of unfair and illegal practices…

 

Swati Deshpande| TNN | Updated: Sep 23, 2016, 08.08 AM IST

 

 

MUMBAI: The Maharashtra  State Consumer Commission has come to the rescue of 25 flat buyers who put their service class life savings in booking small homes 22 years ago, only to be asked to cough up Rs 41.5 lakhs each, almost ten times the original price, to get possession. The commission said the escalated demand was nothing but “pressure tactics” and “unfair trade practice” by the builder to get the buyers to accept his offer of Rs 14 lakh and cancel the bookings in “Rajendra Kunj’ a project in Borivli (east).

The commission directed the builder, Truly Creative Developer Pvt Ltd, to hand over possession of flats in two months at the original price and with all agreed amenities. The order is to also pay damages of Rs 50,000 each to 25 buyers for the mental agony that the unprecedented delay has caused them.

The flats were booked between 1994 and 1998 by 112 persons, mostly employees of Excel Industries, at prices that ranged between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 6 lakh. Most had paid over 50% of the flat’s cost. In 2011, the developer demanded Rs 41 lakh more from each buyer and said the market rate in the vicinity was around Rs 80 lakh for similar-sized flats. The developers, Rajendra Barde and Dattatray Barde, directors of the firm, also initially offered them an 8% return on the money they had already paid. The lawyer for the buyers, Dilip Kulkarni, argued that it was not money, but flats they wanted, as entitled in law. The builder wants the buyers out so that he can sell the flats at the current market rate which would attract a price of around Rs 1 crore, they argued.

The commission panel presided over by judicial member Usha Thakare and Dhanraj Khamatkar observed that in some cases, “flats were booked in 1994, agreements executed in 2005. And no possession handed over till date”. The buyers had approached the commission in 2013. The work was stopped for a year in 1998 and three years since 2005 after disputes landed in the city civil court. But there was no stay on construction between 1999 and 2005 and since 2008. Yet the building is far from complete.

The builder’s lawyer, Ajay Karwath, resorted to every legal arsenal to have the buyers’ complaint dismissed. He questioned their status as consumers, calling them investors, and even challenged the jurisdiction of the commission which can hear claims above Rs 20 lakh. The commission said the buyers had claimed damages of Rs 60 lakh with interest. Hence, the jurisdiction was not flawed, and they were all employees who purchased small flats for their residence with a valid agreement and continued to pay amounts which the builder demanded over the years, hoping for completion and possession, hence they were consumers. “They would not have waited for 16 years to get possession if they were investors.”

 

Link to the full news:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/25-flat-buyers-kept-hanging-by-builder-for-22-yrs-get-justice/articleshow/54471423.cms

One Avigna Park, the first cluster development project in Mumbai……….in serious trouble……………..


One Avigna Park, the first cluster development project in Mumbai……….in serious trouble…………….
.

Mumbai: FIR against builder for FSI fraud that cost govt Rs 2,000 cr

Cops registered FIR against directors of the firm that constructed the 61-storey super luxury project — One Avighna Park at Currey Road — for allegedly forging…
MID-DAY.COM
Read the entire story at the following link: 

http://www.mid-day.com/articles/mumbai-fir-against-builder-for-fsi-fraud-that-cost-govt-rs-2000-cr/17592153

Supreme Court quashes Singur land acquisition for Tata Nano Project

Supreme Court quashes Singur land acquisition for Tata Nano Project in West Bengal

31 August 2016   
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday set aside the land acquired by the previous Left Front government in West Bengal for Tata’s Nano car project, saying due processes and procedures were not followed.

The land was acquired in 2006 for the car project, which was protested by the Trinamool Congress — currently in power in the state with Mamata Banerjee as Chief Minisiter. Eventually, the project was shifted to Sanad in Gujarat.

The Supreme Court bench of Justice V. Gopal Gowda and Justice Arun Mishra also said that all those farmers who have taken the compensation in lieu of the acquisition need not return it as they have been deprived of their lands and its fruits for last 10 years.

The court also said those farmers who had not taken the compensation may withdraw it and that land be returned to the owners within 12 weeks.

While agreeing on the quashing of the acquisition, allowing farmers to retain the amount of compensation and directing that the land be returned in 12 weeks, the two – Justice Gowda and Justice Mishra gave different reasons.

“I’m of the view that an acquisition of land in favour of a company cannot be fulfilled as a public purpose,” Justice Gowda said in his judgement, adding that due procedures were not followed while acquiring the land in favour of the company.

Justice Mishra, in his reasoning, said acquisition in favour of a company is valid as long as it is for a public purpose and the funds for the same are used from the public exchequer.

Having said this, he added that: “I’m exercising the power under Article 142 of the Constitution to quash the acquisition since the Nano car project has been shifted to Gujarat and the land is not being utilised for the purpose for which it was acquired.”

MOFA Act 1963 – FIR

 

 

MOFA Act, 1963 is a powerful Act with stringent provisions against erring builders.
The various provisions contain imprisonment of 3 years, and fine, etc.
In certain circumstances involving breach of trust, the sentence of imprisonment can go upto five years..

The offences are both cognizable as well as non bailable.
For the first time, the Maharashtra Police has issued Circular on 1 July 2016 directing its police to file FIRs under the provisions of MOFA.

The victim Flat Purchasers can take advantage of these new provisions.

There is a Supreme Court Judgement Re: Lalita Devi that all FIRs must be registered within 7 days of receiving the Complaint (later increased to 15 days). Otherwise, the Police have to intimate to the Complainant in writing giving reasons for not registering the FIR.