Taken up through video conferencing.1. This Petition has been filed under Section 21(b) of The Consumer Protection Act, 1986 (the ‘Act 1986’), in challenge to the Order dated 04.10.2010 of The State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Haryana (the ‘State Commission’) in F.A. No. 1928 of 2003, arising out of the Order dated 17.03.2003 in C.C. No. 297 of 1997 of The District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Kurukshetra (the ‘District Forum’).The Petitioner, Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA), was the Opposite Party before the District Forum (the ‘HUDA’). The Respondent, Ms. Nirmal Madan, was the Complainant before the District Forum (the ‘Complainant’).2. Heard arguments from learned Counsel for the two sides through video conferencing.Perused the material on record, including inter alia the Order dated 17.03.2003 of the District Forum, the impugned Order dated 04.10.2010 of the State Commission and the Petition.3. Briefly, the District Forum, vide its Order dated 17.03.2003, arriving at findings of deficiency in service, directed the HUDA to allot an alternative plot to the Complainant and awarded interest at the rate of 10% per annum from the date of deposit till the date of payment on the entire amount deposited with the HUDA.4. The Appeal filed by the HUDA was dismissed on limitation and on merit, both, by the State Commission.5. This Petition was filed in 2011. Vide the Order dated 07.04.2011, notice was issued to the Complainant “confined to the interest on the amount deposited by the original allottee”.6. Briefly, the area in which the originally allotted plot was located was not developed by the HUDA. Consequently possession of the said plot could not, and was not, offered by the HUDA. An alternative plot was offered in lieu thereof (through draw of lots). In the given facts, deficiency in service was determined by the District Forum, and it inter alia awarded compensation by way of interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total amount deposited with the HUDA from the date of deposit till the date of payment. It did not distinguish between the amount deposited by the original allottee and the amount deposited by the subsequent purchaser / allottee, the Complainant. That is to say, the District Forum, in evolving a yardstick to compute the quantum of compensation to be awarded to the Complainant, felt it appropriate to compute it by way of interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total amount deposited for the plot in question.7. Learned Counsel for both sides submit that the total cost of the plot in question was Rs. 3,08,631/-, of which the original allottee had deposited Rs. 62,773/- and the subsequent purchase / allottee, the Complainant, had deposited Rs. 2,45,858/-.8. Distinguishing between the rights of an original allottee and of a subsequent purchaser / allottee is not the question here. The simple question here is that the District Forum, in its wisdom, evidently finding it just and equitable, had adopted the yardstick of determining compensation for the Complainant by computing interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total amount deposited for the plot in question.(If, for the sake of discussion, the District Forum had considered only the amount deposited by the subsequent purchaser / allottee, it could albeit have enhanced the rate of interest to over 10% per annum; it could also well have adopted some other yardstick in the stead.)The District Forum (rightly) did not get into the arena of distinguishing between the rights of an original allottee and of a subsequent purchaser / allottee, the question not being germane to the matter at hand i.e. of determining the quantum of (just and equitable) compensation to the Complainant.9. What should have been a non-issue has been unnecessarily agitated by the HUDA before this Commission for about 10 years.10. It is significant that this Commission’s Order of 07.04.2011 (referred to in para 5. above) has not been put to review or challenge by the HUDA. As such, it is admitted that the area in which the originally allotted plot was located could not be developed and consequently an alternative plot had to then be offered (through draw of lots) in lieu thereof. The period of time that elapsed in this whole process definitely necessitated just and equitable compensation. The yardstick adopted was calculation of interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total amount deposited.11. The HUDA is unnecessarily agitating interest on an amount of Rs. 62,773/- deposited by the original allottee, unnecessarily entering into the arena of the respective rights of an original allottee and a subsequent purchaser / allottee, without understanding that the question here is not to distinguish between such respective rights but to adopt a yardstick for calculation of just and equitable compensation for the Complainant.12. A tangential issue, not germane to the essence of the matter, of distinguishing between the rights of an original allottee and of a subsequent purchaser / allottee, is not required to be examined. On the face of it, (just and equitable) compensation to the Complainant, by making a calculation of interest at the rate of 10% per annum on the total amount deposited for the plot in question, was awarded by the District Forum.13. The State Commission has given sufficient reasons for dismissing the Appeal on limitation. Having done so, perhaps, there was no need for the State Commission to enter into the merits of the case.14. No jurisdictional error, or legal principle ignored, or miscarriage of justice, as may require interference with the impugned Order of the State Commission, in so far as it relates to dismissing the Appeal on limitation, is visible.Similarly, no jurisdictional error, or legal principle ignored, or miscarriage of justice, as may require interference with the Order of the District Forum, in allowing the Complaint on merit, is visible.15. The Complaint was filed in 1997. The District Forum made its order on contest in 2003. The Appeal was filed in 2003. The State Commission dismissed it (inter alia) on limitation in 2010. The instant Petition was filed in 2011. We are now in 2021.16. The Act 1986 is “for better protection of the interests of consumers”, its Statement of Objects and Reasons speaks of “speedy and simple redressal to consumer disputes”.17. Considering what has been recorded in the foregoing paras, it is just, and conscionable to dismiss this Petition with cost of Rs. 10,000/-, to be deposited in the Consumer Legal Aid Acc
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ount of the District Forum within four weeks from today. It will be open to the Chief Executive of the Petitioner, the HUDA, to recover the said cost from its officers responsible for the unnecessary litigation before this Commission. The Petitioner, the HUDA, through its Chief Executive, is directed to make good the award in its entirety within four weeks from today, failing which the District Forum shall undertake execution, for ‘Enforcement’ and for ‘Penalty’, as per the law.18. The Registry is requested to send a copy each of this Order to the HUDA, its Chief Executive and the Complainant, within three days from today. The stenographer is requested to upload this Order on the website of this Commission today itself.