At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. PREM NARAIN
By, PRESIDING MEMBER
For the Appellant: Abhiprav Singh, Advocate. For the Respondents: ---------
This appeal has been filed by the appellant Mr Anup Jain against the order dated 08.04.2019 passed by the Punjab State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Chandigarh (‘the State Commission’) in Consumer Complaint no. 79 of 2019.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the complainant/ appellant booked a residential unit with the OP/ respondent and the total amount of the unit was about Rs.6.60 lakh. From 2004-2006, sixty percent of the amount was deposited and as per the scheme in the year 2006 an option was to be exercised to pay the lumpsum amount and get 5% rebate or they can deposit the remaining amount in instalments. In the year 2006, allottees were communicated that due to some dispute, the construction could not be started and an option was given that either the earnest money can be refunded along with 10% interest per annum or they can remain registered and continue with the project provided they agree to pay the enhanced price, though no enhanced price was informed at that time. The complainant agreed to continue with the project and to pay the enhanced price. The construction started in the year 2010 and in the year 2014, the offer of possession was given along with the demand letter. Complainant filed a consumer complaint alleging deficiency of service on the part of the opposite party/ respondent stating that no interest has been granted on the amount already paid by the complainant to the opposite party and only the amount paid has been adjusted in the new cost of the flat. The State Commission vide its order dated 08.04.2019 has allowed compensation of Rs.55,000/- to the complainant to be paid by the opposite party. Not satisfied by the order of the State Commission the present appeal has been filed by the complainant.
3. I have heard the learned counsel for the appellant. Learned counsel has stated that the complainant has not been granted any interest on the amount of Rs.3.00 lakh which was paid by him during the period 2004-2006 and the amount has been adjusted as such against the total cost of the flat which has been worked out in the year 2014, though the complainant has deposited the remaining amount as per the demand letter of the opposite party. The complainant is entitled to get interest on the amount paid by the complainant as part price of the flat during the period 2004-2006 and some compensation for the delay in handing over the possession.
4. Learned counsel for the appellant states that the delay has occurred due to the deficiency on the part of the opposite party and not on account of any short coming or lapse on the part of the complainant.
5. I have given thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the appellant and have examined the record. It is seen that vide letter dated 30.06.2006 the opposite party has given two options to the allottees, the first option was to get the earnest money refunded along with interest @10% per annum and the second option was to continue with the said project with the enhanced price. The complainant chose to continue with the project and to pay the enhanced cost. The complainant has got the possession after paying the enhanced cost. The complainant has himself agreed to take the unit at enhanced cost, therefore, now the complainant cannot raise the question of getting interest on the amount paid as there is no such agreement between the parties. It is true that the Consumer Fora have been awarding some compensation for delay in handing over the possession, but in the present case as early as in the year 2006, it was informed to the allottees that due to some dispute, the construction has been delayed and due to delay, the cost will also be increased and therefore, option was given to the allottees for withdrawing from the project after taking refund along with 10% per annum interest or to continue with the project with consent to pay the enhanced price. The complainant did not opt for refund along with 10% per annum interest, rather, continued with the project and also agreed to pay the enhanced cost. There was no commitment by the opposite party to pay any interest on the deposited amount. As the construction was delayed and in a way, the complainant had agreed for the
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same without raising any demand for interest on the paid amount, he cannot now raise this demand. Moreover, the State Commission has already granted a lumpsum compensation of Rs.55,000/- therefore, in the light of the above discussion, I do not see any ground for either enhancing the compensation or for allowing any interest on the paid amount of Rs.3,00,000/-. Thus, I do not find any force in the present appeal and accordingly, FA no.2115 of 2019 is dismissed in limine.