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Indira Bharadwaj v/s M/s. Dalmia Resorts International P Ltd.

    Revision Petition No. 827 of 2009
    Decided On, 29 August 2016
    At, National Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission NCDRC
    For the Petitioner: R.K. Bhardwaj, Authorised Representative. For the Respondent: Harish Kumar, Advocate.

Judgment Text
1. This revision petition has been filed under section 21(b) of the Consumer Protection Act, 1986, against the impugned order dated 21.01.2009, passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, U.T. Chandigarh (hereinafter referred to as "the State Commission") in First Appeal No. 951/2008, Indira Bhardwaj v. M/s. Dalmia Resorts International (P) Ltd., vide which, while dismissing the appeal, the order passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum, Chandigarh, dated 14.05.2008, in Consumer Complaint No. 972/2007, filed by the present petitioner, dismissing the said complaint, was upheld.2. The facts of the case are that the petitioner, Indira Bharadwaj made payment of Rs. 57,000/- in four quarterly instalments to the opposite party (OP), M/s. Dalmia Resorts International (P) Ltd. for allotment of a vacation time share for a period of 99 years at their resort at Mussoorie, U.P. The said amount of Rs. 57,000/- was paid as interest free advance and the cost of every unit week in each year was assessed as Rs. 575.75/-, which was to be re-appropriated in the respective years, out of the total amount of Rs. 57,000/- paid. An agreement was also signed between the parties known as "Vacation Owners Agreement: Mussoorie" on 01.08.1996, laying down the terms and conditions of the transactions between the parties. The case of the complainant is that as per her understanding, no extra payment was to be made by the complainant to the OP. However, the OP demanded Rs. 3,000/- per annum as annual maintenance charges (AMC) and Rs. 800/- as utility charges and told her that these charges would accrue annually, irrespective of the fact that the resort was utilised or not, by the complainant. Alleging unfair trade practise and deficiency in service on account of levying of additional charges by the OP, the complainant filed the consumer complaint in question, seeking directions to the OP not to charge the annual maintenance charges of Rs. 3,000/- and utility charges of Rs. 800/- from her. It was also stated in the complaint that, in the alternative, the OPs should be directed to refund the amount of Rs. 57,000/- along with interest @ 18% per annum and the complainant should also be compensated with grant of Rs. 50,000/- for mental harassment and Rs. 5,000/- as litigation cost.3. In the written statement field before the State Commission, the OP admitted that the sum of Rs. 57,000/- was taken by them from the complainant in four quarterly instalments as interest free advance for 99 years. They stated, however, that they had duly entered into an agreement with the complainant, laying down all the terms and conditions. It was also stated that by virtue of clause 10(g) of the agreement, the complainant had agreed to pay the applicable charges/fees/price decided by the OP from time to time. Regarding the refund of Rs. 575.75/-, it was to be paid every year, even when the facility was not used. It was stated by the OP that an advance notice of 60 clear days was required to be issued to the OP by the complainant, if the unit week was not to be utilised in a particular year.4. The District Forum, after taking in account the averments made by the parties, dismissed the complaint, concluding that under clause 10(g) of the agreement, the complainant had agreed to pay the applicable charges/fees etc. from time to time towards amenities to the OP. The District Forum also concluded that an advance notice of 60 clear days was required to be given to the OP, if the unit was not to be used during a particular year. Being aggrieved against the order of the District Forum, the complainant challenged the same by way of an appeal before the State Commission, and the said appeal having been dismissed vide impugned order, the complainant is before this Commission by way of the present revision petition.5. During hearing, the learned counsel for the petitioner maintained that after taking a one-time payment of Rs. 57,000/- from the complainant, the OPs had no right to charge for any maintenance or for amenities every year. The orders passed by the consumer fora below were, therefore, not based on a correct interpretation of the facts and circumstances on record. On the other hand, the learned counsel for the OP has drawn attention to clause 10(g) of the agreement, saying that the complainant was required to act in accordance with the terms and conditions laid down between the parties. The orders passed by the consumer fora below were, therefore, in accordance with law and should be upheld.6. I have examined the entire material on record and given a thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced before me.7. As per the concurrent findings recorded by the District Forum, duly confirmed by the State Commission, it has been brought out that under the terms and conditions of the agreement between the parties, the OPs were well within their rights to charge the annual maintenance charges for the amenities etc. provided. The contention of the complainant/petitioner that she was wrongly made to sign the agreement, does not help her at all, because there is no plea of getting the said agreement signed by means of misrepresentation, fraud, coercion, undue influence etc. Clause 10(g) of the said agreement says as follows:-"(g) The Vacation Owner shall pay the applicable charges/fees/prices decided by DRI (Dalmia Resort International) from time to time towards the amenities."8. It has also been stated in clause 10(b) of the said agreement that the vacation owners agreed and undertook to abide by the terms of the agreement, bye-laws/rules and regulations applicable to the resort. The orders passed by the State Commission as well as the District Forum indicate that detailed reasons have been recorded by these consumer fora for coming to their conclusion. I do not find any illegality, irregularity or jurisdictional error in the said orders, which may justify any interference at the stage of exercising the revisional jurisdiction. It ha

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s been held by the Hon'ble Supreme Court in the case Ruby (Chandra) Dutta v. United India Insurance Co., that the scope of revision petition in the exercise Ltd., (2011) 11 SCC 269 of revisional jurisdiction is limited and powers of revision should be used only, if there is a patent error of jurisdiction or miscarriage of justice by the orders recorded by the consumer fora below. Relying upon the view taken by the Hon'ble Apex Court in the said case, I do not find any ground for interference in the orders passed by the fora below. This revision petition is, therefore, ordered to be dismissed and the impugned order upheld with no order as to costs.