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G.C. Agarwal v/s Haryana Urban Development Authority & Another

    SLP(C) No. 587 of 2011 in RP No. 2775 of 2010

    Decided On, 21 January 2011

    At, Supreme Court of India


    For the Petitioner: Shobha, Advocate. For the Respondents: None

Judgment Text

1. Having failed to convince the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Haryana (for short, 'the State Commission') and the National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission (for short, 'the National Commission') to confirm the order passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Faridabad (for short, 'the District Forum') for refund of the amount de

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ucted by the respondents as a condition for accepting the surrender of plot, the petitioner has filed this petition.2. The petitioner was allotted plot No. 476-P, Sector 2, Faridabad, vide letter dated 18.11.1998 at the tentative price of Rs. 8,68,296/-. He was required to pay Rs. 1,38,138/- within 30 days in addition to Rs. 78,936/- already paid as earnest money so as to fulfil his obligation to pay 25% of the tentative price. The balance 75% could be paid in lump sum without interest within 60 days from the date of allotment letter or in 6 annual instalments with interest at the rate of 15% per annum.3. On account of the petitioner's failure to pay the instalments of price on due dates, Estate Officer, HUDA, Faridabad (respondent No.2) issued notice dated 8.6.2001 under Section 17(1) of the Haryana Urban Development Authority Act, 1977 (for short, 'the Act') requiring him to pay the instalment of Rs. 1,21,568/- and show cause as to why a penalty of Rs. 26,989/- may not be imposed on him. Simultaneously, he was asked to pay Rs. 1,48,322/- towards enhanced price. The petitioner sent reply dated 6.7.2001 to contest the show cause notice. He claimed that the demand of instalments was illegal because the possession had not been offered to him. He also challenged the demand for enhanced price. Finally, he prayed for refund of Rs. 3,39,064/- with interest at the rate of 18% per annum and indicated that formal application for surrender will be made after receiving the reply.4. Two more notices were issued to the petitioner on 1.7.2002 and 15.4.2002 but he did not pay the instalments. Instead, he submitted an application dated 24.4.2002 to the Administrator, HUDA, Faridabad for surrender of plot. Respondent No.2 accepted the surrender and refunded Rs. 2,19,439/- after deducting 10% of the consideration money.5. The complainant filed by the petitioner under Section 12 of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986 was allowed by the District Forum on the premise that deduction of 10% of the cost was unjustified because possession of the plot had not been offered by the HUDA after undertaking the necessary development works. On appeal, the State Commission reversed the order of the District Forum and approved the deduction of 10% of the total consideration money as a condition for acceptance of the surrender. The National commission dismissed the revision petition filed by the petitioner by observing that despite repeated communications, the petitioner did not pay the amount of instalments.6. We have heard Ms. Shobha, learned counsel for the petitioner and perused the record. Since, it is not in dispute that the petitioner had not paid the instalments of premium in accordance with the conditions enshrined in the allotment letter even after receipt of the notice issued by respondent No.2 under Section 17(1) of the Act and demand letters dated 7.1.2002 and 15.4.2002, the action taken by respondent No.2 to deduct 10% of the consideration money cannot be termed as illegal and the State Commission and the National Commission did not commit any error by approving that action.7. We are further of the view that the petitioner had no right to withhold payment of the instalments of premium on the pretext of the alleged failure of the Haryana Urban Development Authority to undertake development in the area - Municipal Corporation, Chandigarh v. Shantikunj Investment (P) Ltd. [(2006) 4 SCC 109.8. The special leave petition is accordingly dismissed.

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