Raj Shekhar Attri, President
1. In this appeal, the appellants/complainants have assailed the order dated 19.09.2019, passed by the District Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission-I (earlier Known as District Forum-I) U.T., Chandigarh, whereby consumer complaint bearing no.875 of 2017 filed by them was partly allowed in the following manner:-
“…..In view of the above discussion, the present consumer complaint succeeds and the same is accordingly partly allowed. OP is directed as under:-
i. To transfer the ownership rights of plot in question i.e. plot No.699 of 6 marla at Shalimar Estates, Village Naggal, Hadbast No.238, District Panchkula, Haryana in favour of complainant No.2 after completing the formalities and accepting the transfer fee and execute conveyance deed in his favour within a period of three years.
ii. Alternatively, in case there is any legal hitch in view of the pendency of the litigation, and decision to come from the judicial authority, in such situation, OP to refund the total deposited amount of Rs.1,80,276/- to complainant No.2 alongwith interest @9% per annum from the respective date(s) of deposit till realization.
iii. To pay Rs.10,000/- to complainant No.2 as costs of litigation.
Keeping in view the fact, there was a litigation going on, which may be beyond the control of OP as the order of Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court is in its favour, of course it has not become final, we proceed not to grant any compensation for mental and physical harassment to complainant No.2.
In view of the observations made in the body of the order, the consumer complaint preferred by complainant No.1 is dismissed with no order as to costs…..”
2. The District Commission noted down the following facts of the consumer complaint filed by the appellants/complainants:-
“….The long and short of the allegations are, complainant No.2 on 24.12.2001 on being applied for and payment of installments was allotted plot No.699 of 6 marla at Shalimar Estates, Village Naggal, Hadbast No.238, District Panchkula, Haryana vide letter dated 19.1.2002. The allegations are, he paid the total amount of Rs.1,80,276/- in eight installments inclusive of earnest and allotment money, details of which are given in paragraph No.5 of the consumer complaint. His further case is, he was under financial crunch, therefore, he sold the plot to complainant No.1 on execution of the agreement. However, despite requests, OP did not hand over possession of the plot either to complainant No.2 or to complainant No.1. It is also his case, matter was under litigation as some permission was withheld by the Govt. of Haryana and it was carried by way of writ petition before the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, Chandigarh which allowed the writ petition in favour of the OP. Averred, the matter is now pending before the Hon’ble Supreme Court though there is no stay granted by the Hon’ble Apex Court. Hence, there has been deficiency in service within the territorial jurisdiction of this Forum as the agreement inter se complainant No.2 and OP was executed within the territorial jurisdiction of this Forum at Chandigarh. Hence, the complainants filed the instant consumer complaint and prayed for direction to the OP to execute the conveyance deed of the plot in favour of complainant No.1 alongwith possession of the plot and pay Rs.one lakh on account of physical and mental harassment alongwith expenses of litigation quantified at Rs.25,000/-.”.
3. The respondent/opposite party responded to the complaint, which was noted by the District Commission, as under:-
“..OP contested the consumer complaint, filed its reply and, inter alia, raised preliminary objections, possession of the plot could not be delivered as Town and Country Planning Department, Govt. of Haryana had withheld the permission for the development of the plot and thereafter the OP approached the appropriate tribunal and filed appeal to redress its grievance, but, the same was dismissed. The said order was challenged by the OP by way of a writ petition before the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court which was allowed in favour of the OP vide order dated 5.10.2016. Thereafter the Govt. of Haryana had carried the matter to the Hon’ble Apex Court where the same is sub judice. The case of the OP is, due to litigation, possession could not be delivered in time and even in the year 2007, it had issued a public notice, delay is being caused due to this reason and in case allottees were in hurry, they can get the deposited amount refunded. On these lines, the cause is sought to be defended…”
4. The parties led evidence, in support of their case, before the District Commission.
5. The District Commission after hearing the contesting parties had passed the impugned order, allowing the consumer complaint, in the manner stated above.
6. We have heard the contesting parties and gone through the material available on the record, very carefully.
7. Counsel for the appellants has contended with vehemence that the District Commission was required to pass order with regard to delivery of possession of the plot in question, in favour of appellant no.1 and not appellant no.2, yet, it fell into an error in doing so, though the consumer complaint has been partly allowed, in favour of appellant no.2 only. It has been further contended that even appellant no.2 had also given his consent to the respondent to transfer the rights in respect of the plot in question in favour of appellant no.1 but the District Commission failed to notice the said fact. It has been averred that even no compensation for the period of delay in offering possession of the said plot, leading to mental agony and harassment to the appellants has been awarded by the District Commission. Hence this appeal.
8. It is not in dispute that the plot in question which was purchased by appellant no.2, in the first instance, vide sale agreement dated 27.03.2002, Annexure C-4, fell in the project named Shalimar Estates, Naggal-Alipur, Hadbast No.237 & 238, Tehsil and District Panchkula, Haryana and that possession thereof has not been delivered because of the pending litigation. It is coming out from the record that vide notice dated 08.08.2002 having been issued by the District Town and Country Planning, Department, (DTCP), Haryana, the respondent-Company (Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd.), was informed that since there has been an unauthorized construction at the project site, as such, the same be brought into its original condition within 7 days, failing which it was made clear that demolition orders will be passed in the matter. The said notice dated 08.08.2002 was challenged by the respondent-Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd., before the Tribunal Chandigarh, by way of filing first appeal no.493 of 2002, which was dismissed vide order dated 28.01.2003 and the order dated 08.08.2002 passed by the DTCP was upheld. Feeling aggrieved against the order dated 28.01.2003, the respondent-Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd., filed CWP No.2437 of 2003 (Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd. Vs. The State of Haryana and Ors.) before the Hon’ble Punjab and Haryana High Court, which was ultimately decided in its favour vide order dated 05.10.2016 and the orders passed by the District Town and Country Planning Department and Tribunal were set aside by the Hon'ble High Court. However, thereafter, the State of Haryana filed the SLP No.23096 of 2017 before the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India challenging the order dated 05.10.2016 aforesaid.
9. It is significant to mention here that during pendency of this appeal, the respondent-Shalimar Estates Pvt. Ltd., has placed on record copy of order dated 03.12.2019 passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India in SLP No.23096 of 2017, wherefrom it is evident that since the Senior counsel appearing for the State had submitted that the Final Development Plan 2021 has come into existence and the same is applicable to the area in dispute, as such, the Hon’ble Supreme Court has ordered to maintain status quo with respect to the suit property i.e. the project in question (Shalimar Estates, Naggal-Alipur, Hadbast No.237 & 238, Tehsil and District Panchkula, Haryana). Relevant part of the order dated 03.12.2019 is reproduced hereunder:-
“Mr. Gurinder Singh Gill, learned senior counsel appearing for the State submits that the Final Development Plan 2021 has come into existence and the same is applicable to the area in question.
2. The property in question needs to be acquired for formation of a National Highway as well as the interior road. He wants to submit a copy of the Final Development Plan 2021 along with the application.
Status quo, as on today, shall be maintained with respect to the suit property.
However, this order will not come in the way of the Land Acquisition Officer/Competent authority to acquire the land, if he so chooses in accordance with law. List the matter after three weeks.”
10. In this view of the matter, we are of the considered view that since the Hon’ble Supreme Court has ordered to maintain status quo with respect to the project in question, as such, no order can be passed in this appeal at this stage, especially with regard to delivery of possession of the plot in question and also execution of
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sale deed in respect thereof, irrespective of the fact that the same was to be passed in favour of appellant no.1 or appellant no.2, till final outcome of SLP No.23096 of 2017 and the matter needs to be adjourned sine-die. As such, all the issues raised by the appellants in this appeal can be decided, upon the final outcome of SLP No.23096 of 2017 only. 11. For the reasons record above, it is ordered that this appeal is adjourned sine-die, which shall be restored on final outcome of SLP No.23096 of 2017. The respondent- Shalimar Estates (P) Ltd. through its Authorized Representative(s) and also Sh.Arun Kumar and Sh.Varun Bhardwaj, Advocates are directed to inform this Commission, about the final out of SLP No.23096 of 2017 or order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India regarding vacation of status quo, if any, in respect of the project in question. 12. Certified copies of this order be sent to the parties, free of charge. 13. The file be consigned to Record Room, after completion, till further orders.