The present Appeal is filed against the order dated 25.05.2019 in Consumer Complaint No.155 of 2014 passed by State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow (for short “State Commission”).
1. Along with the Appeal, IA/2237/2020, an application for condonation of delay of 143 days has also been filed by the Appellant. However, as per computation done by the Registry there is a delay of 88 days. For the reasons given in application and in the interest of justice, IA/2237/2020 is allowed and delay condoned.
2. The case of the Complainant/Respondent is that he applied for Category 'A' Plot in the Awaseeya Yojana ‘Siddhartha Enclave’ Vistaar Phase-II launched by the Opposite Party/Appellant i.e, Gorakhpur Development Authority in year 2003. On 07.04.2004, Plot No A-10 was allotted to the Complainant. The Complainant had deposited the entire amount with the Gorakhpur Development Authority, but with a delay of two days, due to which rebate of 4% on the cost of the plot was not given to her. On 15.02.2005, the Opposite Party informed the Complainant that Registration of the Sale Deed was stopped till further orders and she would be informed later about Registration of the plot. The Complainant sent letter dated 30.06.2009 to the Opposite Party stating that since she had taken a loan from the Bank and was paying interest, the execution of Sale of Deed be expedited. The Opposite Party issued letter, dated 07.10.2010, for depositing of Rs.7, 40,536/- on or before 31.01.2010 for execution of the Sale Deed. The Complainant deposited the balance amount and on 02.12.2010, Sale Deed was executed in favour of the Complainant. The Complainant contacted office of the Opposite Party and regularly corresponded for giving of Plot, but in vain. The Opposite Party issued a letter on 01.06.2011 to the Complainant for possession of the Plot No.A-10, but Possession was not given. Thereafter, the Complainant filed a Complaint before the Lokayukta and the Vice Chairman of Gorakhpur Development Authority submitted its report on 23.10.2013 before the Lokayukta. The Opposite Party finally issued Possession letter on 22.05.2014, but denied payment of interest for delayed delivery of possession and also refund of amount for decreased area of the Plot. Aggrieved by this, the Complainant filed Consumer Complaint before the State Commission, with the following prayer-
“It is therefore, most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble court may graciously be pleased to:
1. Award the compensation to the complainant in the following manner:
a. Interest on the deposited Amount at the Rate of 18%: Rs.32,49,938.00
b. Mental Harassment: Rs.5,00,000.00
c. Travelling and other charges Rs.1,00,000.00
d. Expenses in case: Rs.50,000.00”
3. The Complaint was resisted by the Opposite Party by filing written statement stating that delay in delivery of possession of the Plot was due to delay in deciding the land use at the level of Government. The provision of 4% rebate in the cost of the Plot of land was only valid when entire payment of the cost of the Plot was made, in lump sum, within a month. Since the payment was not made in the prescribed period, the rebate of 4% on the cost of the plot was not given to the Complainant.
4. The State Commission heard the arguments of Learned Counsel for the Complainant and perused the record. None appeared on behalf of the Opposite Party. The State Commission, vide impugned order dated 25.05.2009 partly allowed the Complaint as follows: -
“This complaint is partly allowed. The respondent is hereby directed that it should make the payment of Rs.5,00,000/- (Five Lakh Rupees) to the complainant as compensation within 45 days of receipt of the copy of this judgment. In case of non-payment of the above-mentioned amount within the prescribed period, the respondent would be liable to make the payment of simple interest of 6% per annum on the above-mentioned amount from the date of filing this complaint case, to the complainant. The respondent is also directed that the payment of Rs.10,000/- (Ten Thousand Rupees) should be made to the complainant on account of suit expenses within the prescribed period.”
5. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission the Appellant filed the present Appeal before this Commission with the following prayer-
“In view of the above, it is most respectfully prayed that this Hon’ble Court may graciously be pleased to:
a) Allow the instant First Appeal filed under section 19 of the Consumer Protection Act,1986, and thereby set aside and quash the impugned order dated 25.05.2019 passed by the Hon’ble State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Uttar Pradesh, Lucknow, in Appeal No.1652/2004.
b) Pass any such other order(s) which this Hon’ble Commission may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.
1. Heard the Learned Counsel for the Parties and perused the record. The Learned Counsel for the Appellant/Opposite Party submitted that the Sale Deed of the Plot was not executed in time, due to pending decision on land use at the Government level. The Appellant Authority allotted Plot number A-10 on 07.04.2010 and the allotment letter was issued in favour of the Respondent after the land use had been changed by the Government in respect of the residential Plot of land. As per the decision taken by the Appellant’s Board, the Appellant Authority, vide letter dated 07.10.2010, asked the Respondent to deposit the balance amount of Rs.7,40,536/- before 31.10.2010. It also informed that after depositing the above amount, the Sale Deed would be executed. Accordingly, the Sale Deed was executed by the Appellant Authority in favour of the Respondent on 02.12.2010. Thereafter the Appellant Authority issued letter, dated 01.06.2011, regarding the possession of the Plot of land. However, since the area of the land was found to be less than the area of the original Plot as agreed earlier, the possession of the Plot was delayed and could not be given to the Respondent on time. It was stated that on 24.06.2014, the Respondent sought refund of the difference in amount for lesser area of the Plot. Consequently, the cost of the area of the land was reduced after execution of the Supplementary Sale Deed and the balance amount was refunded to the Respondent by Cheque Number - 772379 dated 16.6.2014, drawn on Andhra Bank, Taramandal branch, Gorakhpur. It was pleaded that after receiving the entire amount, the Respondent filed Complaint Case No.155/2014 before the State Commission. The State Commission erroneously allowed the Complaint filed by the Respondent and awarded Rs.5,00,000/- as compensation along with 6% annual interest which was not justified in the facts and circumstance of the case.
2. The Learned Counsel for the Respondent/Complainant submitted that delay in delivery of Plot by the Appellant caused mental and physical torture to the Respondent/Complainant. It was also submitted that for the delay in making payment by the Complainant, the Appellant/Opposite Party charged interest @ 18% was charged by the Appellant and no benefit of 4% rebate was given to the Respondent on the amount paid just because it was delayed by two days, which was unjust and improper. It further submitted that the impugned order is justified and the Appeal be dismissed.
3. Main issue relates to compensation for the delay in delivery of possession of the Plot, which was booked by the Respondent in year 2003 and Sale Deed executed on 31.10.2010. Despite prolonged correspondence & efforts made by the Respondent, possessio
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n of the Plot was not handed over to the Respondent. The Respondent had also filed a Complaint before the Lokayukta of Uttar Pradesh. After several efforts made by the Respondent, possession of the Plot of land was given on 22.05.2014. From the above it is seen that there was an enormous delay in delivery of possession of the Plot. Regarding provision of 4% rebate in the cost of the Land, it is observed that it was only valid when the entire payment was made in lump sum within a month. There was delay in making payment & therefore the Opposite Party rightly denied the rebate. 4. For the foregoing discussion, the impugned order is modified to the extent that the Opposite Party shall to pay the Complainant interest of 6% per annum from the due date of possession till the actual possession along with Rs.25,000/- towards cost of litigation.