This revision petition has been filed under Section 21 (b) of the Consumer Protection Act against the impugned order dated 1.11.2007, passed by the State Consumer Disputes Redressal Commission, UT, Chandigarh (hereinafter stated as ‘the State Commission’) in Appeal No. 741/2001(Pb)/RBT/478/2007 – Estate Officer, PUDA Vs. Mrs. Darshan Bhatia, by which, while dismissing appeal, the order passed by the District Forum, Ludhiana in Complaint No. 21/8.1.2001 was upheld.
2. The brief facts of the case are that the Complainant/ Respondent filed the consumer complaint in question against the Petitioner/OP-PUDA, saying that they had recovered the non-construction charges on Plot No. 2174, Phase-II, Dugri Urban Estate, Ludhiana at enhanced rates, since the re-allotment of plot in her name, for the years 1997, 1998 and 1999. It was pleaded that direction be given to the Estate Officer, PUDA, Ludhiana to charge non-Construction fees as per Rule 13 of the PUDA Act, 1995 and not in accordance with the some executive instructions.3. The complaint was resisted by the Petitioner/OP by filing a written statement before the District Forum, in which they stated that the complainant had purchased the plot from the original allottee and; hence, she was bound by the terms and conditions contained in the said letter of allotment. As per Clause 12 of the letter of allotment, an allottee was required to complete the building within 3 years from the date of allotment. On her failure to do so, the Petitioner was liable to pay the extension fees imposed on her from time to time. It was contended that Rule 13 of the 1995 Act was not applicable in this case, but the allottee / re-allottee was governed by the terms and conditions of the allotment.
4. The District Forum, after taking into account the averments made by the parties, allowed the complaint, saying that the OP/PUDA was entitled only to recover the non-construction charges to the extent permissible as per Rule 13 of the PUDA Act, 1995. Being aggrieved against the said order, OP/PUDA challenged the same by way of appeal before the State Commission and the said appeal having been dismissed by the impugned order, the Petitioner/OP is before this Commission by way of the present revision petition.
5. At the time of arguments before me, the learned Counsel for the Petitioner/OP has drawn attention to an order passed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court in HUDA Vs. Sunita – (2005) 2 SCC 479, saying that the Consumer Fora had no jurisdiction to go into the correctness of the demands regarding composition fee and extension fee, etc., and the Complainant could resort to any other appropriate remedy for questioning the aforesaid demands. The learned Counsel further stated that in another order, passed by the Hon’ble Apex Court on 20.2.2014 in C.A. No. 8314-8315 of 2010 – PUDA (now GLADA) Vs. Narinder Singh Nanda & Ors., this view was reiterated by the Hon’ble Court and it was directed to dispose of the said appeals in terms of the order passed in HUDA Vs. Sunita (supra). This Commission also vide order dated 15.7.2014 had taken a similar view in R.P. No. 2440/2012 – PUDA Vs. Rajinder Kaur and allowed the petition. The learned Counsel pleaded that relying upon the above decisions, the petition in question should be accepted and the orders passed by the Fora below, be set aside.
6. I have examined the entire material on record and given a thoughtful consideration to the arguments advanced before me.
7. The facts of the instant case are almost similar to the facts of the cases which were the subject matter of litigation in C.A. No. 8314-8315 of 2010 which were allowed by the Hon’ble Supreme Court. In view of the order passed by the Hon’ble Apex Court in HUDA Vs. Sunita (supra), the correctness of the demand of extension fees charged by the PUDA from the Complainant, cannot be questioned in proceedings before the Consumer Fora. However, as directed in th
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e said order, the Complainants are at liberty to resort to any other appropriate remedy for questioning the aforesaid demand, if they are in accordance with law. The present revision petition is, therefore, allowed in terms of the order passed by the Hon’ble Apex Court in HUDA Vs. Sunita (supra). The orders passed by the State Commission and District Forum are set aside and consumer complaint stands dismissed with no order as to costs.