At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE AJIT BHARIHOKE
By, PRESIDING MEMBER & THE HONOURABLE MRS. REKHA GUPTA
For the Petitioner: Priyanka Singh, Advocate. For the Respondents: Ved Sharma, Advocate.
Ajit Bharihoke, Presiding Member
This revision is directed against the order of West Bengal State Commission dated 17.10.2014 in FA No. 71/2004 whereby the State Commission allowed the appeal preferred by the respondent opposite party and dismissed the complaint on the ground that District Forum has exceeded its jurisdiction by entertaining the complaint beyond its pecuniary jurisdiction.
2. Shorn off unnecessary details, the facts relevant for the disposal of the revision petition are than petitioner complainant filed a consumer complaint alleging deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party developer in respect of the Buyer’s Agreement, under which the opposite party was supposed to construct and deliver possession of flat to the complainant in consideration of 30,63,240/-. The consumer complaint was resisted by the opposite party on the plea that it has not committed any deficiency in service and has acted in accordance with the terms and conditions of the Buyer’s Agreement between the parties.
3. The District Forum on consideration of the pleadings and evidence allowed the complaint and ordered as under:
'That the complaint be and same is allowed on contest against the opposite parties with cost of Rs.10,000/-.
Ops are directed to refund the deposited amount of Rs.6,63,498/- and if Rs.1,29,086/- is found encashed by the complainant in that case OP shall have to refund Rs.5,34,412/- alongwith Rs.1,00,000/- for adopting unfair trade practice and for harassing the complainant and for illegal forcefully cancellation of the allotment and for getting more profit by selling the same to 3rd party by the ops and the said amount shall be paid to the complainant by the ops just within 15 days from the date of this order failing which ops shall have to pay damages @ Rs.700/- per day till full satisfaction of the decretal amount.
For adopting unfair trade practice and unmerchantable practice op shall have to pay punitive damages of Rs.50,000/- to be paid to this Forum for controlling and checking the present real estate business for adopting unfair trade practice by the ops.
Ops are directed to comply this order positively within the stipulated period failing which penal action shall be taken against them by starting a processing u/s 27 of the CP Act, 1986 and for that reason also further penalty may be imposed to the extent of Rs.10,000/- each against each op.'
4. Being aggrieved of the order of the District Forum, the respondent opposite party preferred an appeal which was allowed on the ground that District Forum has erred in entertaining the complaint despite of the fact that pecuniary value of the complaint exceeded the limit of pecuniary jurisdiction of the District Forum. This has led to the filing of the revision petition.
5. Learned counsel for the petitioner has contended that order of the State Commission is not sustainable for the reason that State Commission while allowing the appeal has ignored the prayer clause of the consumer complaint and the relief claimed by the complainant.
6. Learned counsel for the opposite party on the contrary has argued in support of the impugned order and contended that State Commission has rightly taken into consideration the agreed value of the flat i.e. Rs.30,63, 240/- to hold that value of the complaint was much beyond the pecuniary jurisdiction of District Forum which is rupees twenty lakhs.
7. We have considered the rival contentions and perused the record.
8. On perusal of the copy of the consumer complaint filed on record, we find that in the complaint, the petitioner has prayed for direction to the opposite party to refund the deposited amount of Rs.6,63,498/- with 12% interest thereon from the date of payment till realisation besides compensation of rupees one lakh. If we add up the value of the claim and the compensation, it is obviously much below rupees twenty lakhs. The State Commission by ignoring the fact that petitioner has not prayed for possession of the flat and fix
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ing the value of the complaint as per the cost of the flat has committed a grave irregularity. Therefore, the order of the State commission cannot be faulted. 9. In view of the discussion above, we allow the revision petition and set aside the impugned order and remand the matter back to the State Commission for disposal of appeal on merits after giving due hearing to the parties. Parties to appear before the State Commission on 10.03.2016.