Prem Narain, Presiding Member
The present revision petition has been filed by Mr Om Prakash Swami against the order dated 01.02.2017 of the Delhi State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, Delhi (‘the State Commission) in First Appeal no. 25 of 2016.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the complainant booked a residential plot with the respondent/ opposite party. On 05.08.2004, he shifted from his old address and informed the same to the opposite party on 14.08.2004. On 07.10.2005, the complainant shifted to permanent address and again informed the same to the OP on 14.10.2005. It was stated on 30.09.2004, the opposite party sent a letter asking the complainant to take physical possession and complete the construction on the said plot up to 29.09.2006. It was stated that the said letter was not received by the complainant as the same was sent at the old address and in the meantime the complainant paid the regular instalments. It was alleged that though the complainant had paid all instalments on time but the opposite party still charged higher amount and he had to live on rent by spending money due to the delay in possession of plot to him. Hence, the petitioner filed a consumer complaint before the Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum – VI (District New Delhi) (‘the District Forum’).
3. Heard the learned counsel for the parties. Petitioner was the complainant before the District Forum in Complaint Case no.CC/370 of 2007 filed by the petitioner. The District Forum vide its order dated 26.11.2015 passed the following order:
“After considering the rival case of both the parties, we hold OP deficient in service to the extent of imposing penalty of Rs.89,346/- without proof of delivery of letter of offer of possession as admitted by Ops in its letter of 02.01.2006 placed on record.
We direct the OP to return this amount with interest of 9% from the date of deposit till payment. No compensation on other grounds in the prayer can be granted. If any other interest is charged on this demand of Rs.89,346/- that will also be reversed. We award a compensation of Rs.35,000/- inclusive of litigation expenses for harassment and deficiency.
The order shall be complied with within 30 days of the receipt of the copy of the order, otherwise action can be taken against OP under Section 25/27 of the Consumer Protection Act.”
4. Aggrieved by the order of the District Forum, the complainant as well as the opposite party both filed appeals being FA nos.25 and 183 of 2016 before the State Commission. The State Commission vide its common order dated 01.02.2017 decided both the appeals as under:
“In view of the above discussion, the appeal of the complainant bearing no.25/16 is dismissed. Appeal of OP bearing No.183/16 is accepted in part and impugned order is modified to the effect that OP will refund Rs.89,346/- along with interest @ 9% per annum from the date of payment till the date of refund. Order directing compensation of Rs.35,000/- is set aside.”
5. Aggrieved by the order of the State Commission, the present revision petition has been filed by the petitioner/ complainant. Learned counsel for the petitioner has stated that the State Commission has dismissed the order of the District Forum in respect of grant of Rs.35,000/- as compensation for mental agony and harassment to the complainant without any reasons. Learned counsel states that the complainant has suffered for many years due to the deficiency on the part of the opposite party. Learned counsel has further mentioned that the District Forum and the State Commission has not decided the application for refund of non-construction charges paid to the opposite party for Rs.44,760/- which was in violation of the stay order granted by the District Forum. Therefore, it was also prayed that this amount may also be ordered to be refunded by the opposite party to the complainant.
6. On the other hand the learned counsel for the respondent/ opposite party has stated that after the order of the District Forum dated 26.11.2015 both the parties preferred appeals before the State Commission. The appeal of the complainant was dismissed by the State Commission. In the appeal filed by the complainant before the State Commission, the only prayer was made to enhance the compensation of Rs.35,000/- which was granted by the District Forum. Learned counsel has further stated that the respondent/ opposite party has already complied with the order of the State Commission and the amount has been paid to the complainant along with interest as per the order of the State Commission. Thus, nothing remains in the matter.
7. We have carefully considered the arguments advanced by the learned counsel for the parties and have examined the record. From the perusal of the order of the District Forum, it seems that the complainant has suffered harassment and mental agony from the actions/ omissions of the opposite party and therefore, Rs.35,000/- as compensation was ordered which seems justified. The State Commission, on the other hand, has set aside this compensation on the ground that the complainant has also been held liable for contributory negligence. It is the case of the complainant that he changed the address only once, whereas the State Commission has recorded in its order that the complainant was repeatedly changing the address. It has been found by both the fora below that the OP was deficient and that is why Rs.89,346/- has been ordered to be refunded by both the fora below. Thus, in our view, the complainant is entitled to get some compensation for the mental agony and harassment and for deficiency in service on the part of the opposite party. From this aspect, the order of the District Forum in respect of grant of Rs.35,000/- as compensation is required to be upheld.
8. So far as the question of refund of non-construction charges of Rs.44,760/- is concerned, it is seen that the main argument of the complainant in this regard is that this has been taken in violation of the interim order dated 24.04.2007 of the District Forum. When the final order has been passed in the complaint case, clearly the interim order merges into the main order and in the main final order, there is no order for restraining the OP from recovering non-construction charges. Thus, we d
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o not find any merit in the argument of the learned counsel for the petitioner that non-construction charges paid by the complainant should be refunded by the opposite party. 9. On the basis of the above discussion, the revision petition no. 883 of 2017 is partly allowed and the order of the State Commission dated 01.02.2017 in respect of setting aside the order of the District Forum for granting Rs.35,000/- as compensation to the complainant is set aside. The respondent/ opposite party is directed to pay Rs.35,000/- as compensation to the petitioner/complainant. 10. This order be complied with by the opposite party within a period of 45 days from the date of receipt of this order.